December 29, 2018 / 9:08 AM / 6 months ago

Factbox - United Arab Emirates at the Asian Cup

(Reuters) - Factbox on hosts United Arab Emirates ahead of the Asian Cup, which takes place from Jan 5 to Feb 1:

FIFA world ranking: 79

Ranking in Asia: 8

Previous Asian Cups: 9

Best performance: Runners-up (1996)

2015: Third place

Nickname: The Whites

Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni

Regular captain: Majed Naser

Player to watch: Ahmed Khalil

Recent form:

Sept 11 United Arab Emirates 3-0 Laos Palamos

Oct 11 United Arab Emirates 1-1 Honduras Barcelona

Oct 16 United Arab Emirates 0-2 Venezuela Barcelona

Nov 16 United Arab Emirates 0-0 Bolivia Dubai

Nov 20 United Arab Emirates 2-0 Yemen Dubai

Fixtures:

Group A

Jan 5 United Arab Emirates v Bahrain Abu Dhabi

Jan 10 India v United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi

Jan 14 United Arab Emirates v Thailand Al Ain

Alberto Zaccheroni knows what it takes to win an Asian Cup but if he is to succeed with the United Arab Emirates as he did with Japan in 2011, the Italian coach will have to do it without one of the host nation’s outstanding talents.

Omar Abdulrahman’s delightful touch helped drive his country to third place in Australia four years ago but a knee injury sustained playing club football means the midfielder will be sidelined for the tournament.

Zaccheroni, though, has always been known for his tactical creativity — he had Japan playing a 4-2-3-1 formation in 2011 — and any squad led by the former AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus boss can be relied upon to play attacking football.

Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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