The English coach began his second spell in charge of the Blue Tigers in 2015 and has restructured the organisation around the team, taken the side into the top 100 of FIFA's rankings and delivered a first win on the continental stage since 1964 - Sunday's 4-1 triumph over Thailand. India went on to win the match 4-1 and 34-year-old Chhetri surpassed Lionel Messi to become the second-most prolific worldwide scorer in the list of active players.
Now ranked 79th to India's 97th, the United Arab Emirates were placed as high as 24 in the Federation Internationale de Football Association chart in January 2015. If you ask me - without taking anything from Thailand, the least hard one among the three matches was against Thailand.The most hard game one will be against the UAE and lest we forget, Bahrain will be equally tough for us.
Over reliance on the 34-year-old striker would not have seen them maul Thailand the way the did.
India pushed for the equaliser in the second half, Udanta Singh slamming a shot against the bar 10 minutes after the restart.
The odds, though, appear to be stacked in UAE's favour as the Alberto Zaccheroni-coached side has a better Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking of 79, has won 8 of the 13 games between the two sides and will be spurred on by the noisy home crowd. More of the could be expected against a superior opponent in UAE.
They wouldn't be satisfied with their performances, especially in the attacking third.
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Zaccheroni already doesn't have his star player Omar Abdulrahman available for the tournament, and there are also injury doubts about right-back Bandar Mohamed Al Ahbabi, attacking midfielder Saif Rashid Alshemeili, and Al Ahli striker Ahmed Khalil Aljunaibi.
UAE will look to dominate the midfield where Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder will come up against a tightly-knit unit. "He is a phenomenal goal scorer at this level". The central defensive pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika will be kept busy at the back, and so could be goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Where is the AFC Asian Cup match between India and UAE being played?
India coach Constantine is well aware of the opposition threat in store. The nation has also been a regular at the AFC Asian Cup tournament, while this is only the fourth time India have made it to the stage. I feel we started a bit nervous. We have won a game. We will try to change the image of the team that played against Bahrain.
Only time will tell what's in store.
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