United Arab Emirates
15:30 GMT 23 March 2017
The Japanese national team will make the trip to the United Arab Emirates as they look to take another big towards qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Japan look like they will find themselves in Russia next summer if they carry on at the same rate as they currently sit 2nd in the Asian qualifying group B. UAE are 4th in the table but are only 1 point from Saudi Arabia in top spot so a win could see them go top of the group.
The 6 meetings between the two nations since 2005 have been extremely even. Both sides have won 2 games each with 2 draws and both teams have scored on 4 of the 6 occasions. In the last fixture, it was UAE who came out on top with a 2-1 away win.
After their 3 wins so far in the group, UAE will be quite confident facing a team that they beat not so long ago. But the withdrawal of Amer Abulrahman, one of their best players, won’t make their task of winning the match any easier. They will still be hopeful of beating Japan but a strong defensive performance will be vital if they want to move further up the table.
Latest matches: United Arab Emirates
|15.11.2016||Worl||United Arab Emirates||Iraq||2:0||W|
|09.11.2016||Int.||United Arab Emirates||Bahrain||2:0||W|
|11.10.2016||Worl||Saudi Arabia||United Arab Emirates||3:0||L|
|06.10.2016||Worl||United Arab Emirates||Thailand||3:1||W|
|06.09.2016||Worl||United Arab Emirates||Australia||0:1||L|
Japan will be looking to get a stronger grip on the group as they will ideally want to be top of the group after these two matches in the international break. They should have a good chance to do this against UAE especially as they look for revenge after their defeat last time around. A fully-available team give them a much better chance of picking up all 3 points. Latest matches: Japan
Latest matches: Japan
It’s hard to see past a Japanese win in this match but with the way UAE have played recently combined with the support of their own fans give them a chance of winning the game themselves. They know they can beat the Asian heavyweights and have a decent opportunity to get the 3 points in this fixture. A Japan win is the most likely outcome but a draw or UAE win shouldn’t be ruled out and has every chance of happening.
23 March 2017 - 15:30 GMT
Share your opinion about this preview by leaving a comment below.