Russia 2018 Asian Qualifiers Third Round: United Arab Emirates v Iraq preview

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates and Iraq meet in a must-win game for both sides as Mahdi Ali’s side seek to bounce back from their loss against Saudi Arabia while the Iraqis aim to build on their win over Thailand on Matchday Four.

Potential Line-ups

•      UAE coach Mahdi Ali is hoping his side can make the most of home field advantage as they aim to put their qualifying campaign back on track.
•      Iraq coach Rahdi Shenaisal confident his team can turn good performances into positive results after mixed start to qualifying tournament
•      UAE go into the game off the back of a 2-0 win over Bahrain on Wednesday played behind closed doors, with goals from Ismail Mattar and Walid Abbas.
•      Iraq were held to a 0-0 draw with Jordan in a friendly match in Amman last week.

Match Details
Date: 15 November 2016 (Tuesday)
Kickoff time: 7:20pm UTC, 3:20pm GMT
Venue: Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)

Coach Quotes

Mahdi Ali, UAE

“All the players are ready for the match, which is very important for us in order to remain in contention in such a difficult group. We know that a win is very important in order to make a good comeback after the defeat against Saudi Arabia and it will be a difficult match.

“We should try to take advantage of playing at home and in front of our fans. We should be calm and have good concentration, especially in the small details that will be the difference between the two teams.”

Radhi Shenaishil, Iraq

“We are in a difficult situation as we must avoid dropping points and we need to win against UAE if we want to maintain our chance in the group. We had good performances in the previous matches but we were not lucky to avoid defeat.

“We are ready for the match tomorrow and if we play with the same good performance that we had in the previous matches, I’m confident that we can get a good result. We respect our opponents, who have improved a lot in the recent years but we are a good side as well and our players have good experience.”

Head to Head Record
30/01/15 Iraq 2-3 UAE
21/11/14 UAE 2-0 Iraq
19/01/13 UAE 2-1 Iraq
16/01/11 UAE 0-1 Iraq
24/11/10 Iraq 0-0 UAE

Form
UAE: LWLWL
Iraq: DLLLW

How they fared on MD4
Saudi Arabia 3-0 United Arab Emirates
Three goals in the final 17 minutes earned Saudi Arabia a third win four games as Bert van Marwijk’s side moved to the top of the Group B standings, while the UAE’s second defeat in three games leaves Mahdi Ali and his team in difficulty.

Iraq 4-0 Thailand
Mohannad Abdulraheem scored all four goals as Iraq claimed their first win of the final phase of qualifying for Russia 2018 against a Thailand team reduced to eight men for the dying minutes due to Korawit Narmwiset’s red card and a series of injuries for Kiatisuk Senamuang’s luckless side.

Photos: Lagardère Sports

Asian Football Confederation Website

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