UAE prepare for India matches in Austria

The United Arab Emirates are preparing for their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier against India in the Austrian Alps in Europe. The UAE are in Austria for over two weeks to prepare themselves in the best possible way for the qualifiers.

For the UAE coach Srecko Katanec from Slovenia the weather in the two matches is a major issue, be it the heat in the UAE and the monsoons in India. On his insistence the home game has been shifted from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain's Khalifa Stadium on July 23 as in Al Ain the weather is cooler then in the capital. The return-leg will be played on July 28 but the AIFF still has to finalise a venue for the game.

"Yes we are the favourites, but only on paper. India are not one of the tougher sides in Asia, but football is such a game that you cannot underestimate anybody. You have to play a match on the field and until you win you can never say," said Katanec to UAE's Sport360.

The UAE are in a rebuilding process after a weak 2011 AFC Asian Cup in which they where eliminated in the group stage, but their Under-23s are a strong side as they reached last years Guangzhou Asian Games final and last week they qualified for the next round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics.

Talking about his 24 probables Katanec said, "This team has a good mix of youth and experience, and some of the Olympic team players have shown they are good enough to play for the senior team. We have to prepare well for the matches with India and it's a matter of staying focused and working hard to get the right kind of results and make the next round."

While in Austria the UAE will play three friendly matches against club sides. They first face Austrian second division side SV Groedig on July 2, then Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest and then Russian Premier League side Dynamo Moscow on July 10. The UAE return home on July 14 and face Lebanon in their final friendly game on July 17 at the Khalifa Stadium in Al Ain.


Majed Nasser, Saeed Al Kas (both Al Wasl); Ali Khaseif, Khaled Sabeel, Abdullah Mousa, Subait Khater (all Al Jazira); Yousuf Jaber, Zeyab Awana, Amer Abdulrahman, Mohammed Fawzi (all Baniyas); Waleed Abbas, Mohammed Ahmed (both Al Shabab); Fares Jumaa, Mosallam Fayez, Ali Al Weihibi, Omer Abdulrahman (all Al Ain); Mahmoud Khamis, Mohammed Al Shehhi, Ismail Matar, Salem Saleh, Adel Al Hosani, Hamdan Al Kamali (all Al Wahda); Ismail Al Hammadi, Ahmed Khalil (both Al Ahli)

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