The UAE vs Tajikistan at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday for an international friendly.
The Sons of Zayed begin preparations for next year’s Asia Cup in Qatar, having qualified for the showpiece following a fabulous qualifying campaign.
They won six of their eight games and finished atop Group G, ahead of Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, while scoring a staggering 23 goals in the process.
The Middle Eastern side then came agonizingly close to qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but lost 2-1 to Australia in the fourth round to see their wait for a first appearance in the competition since 1990 continue.
Head coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena has named 25 players for their friendlies against Tajikistan and Thailand this month, including record goalscorer Ali Mabkhout, who has scored 80 goals for the side in 109 appearances.
There are four uncapped players in the squad as well.
Tajikistan made history by qualifying for the Asia Cup for the first time ever and will make their tournament debut when the finals kick off in January next year.
The Persian Lions won Group F in the third round with seven points in three games, ahead of neighbors Kyrgyzstan on goal difference.
Petar Segrt’s side will now use their upcoming games as a chance to gird up the loins ahead of their maiden participation in the competition.
For this month’s fixtures, the Croatian manager has named 24 players, including record goalscorer Manuchekhr Dzhalilov, who has scored 20 goals for the side in 46 appearances.
UAE vs Tajikistan Head-To-Head and Key Numbers
- The UAE and Tajikistan have met only once before, in November 2020 for an international friendly which the Sons of Zayed won 3-2.
- Tajikistan’s last two games have ended in 0-0 draws and have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four games.
- The UAE have failed to win their last three games, all coming in the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup earlier this year.
UAE vs Tajikistan Prediction
The UAE has a decent squad but has flattered to deceive lately. Their strong attacking unit could still be a challenge for Tajikistan though.
The Persian Lions, however, have a stoic defense and could hold them to a draw.
Prediction: UAE 1-1 Tajikistan
UAE vs Tajikistan Betting Tips
Tip 1 – Result: Draw
Tip 2 – Goals over/under 2.5: Under 2.5
Tip 3 – Both teams to score: Yes