Preview: United Arab Emirates vs. Argentina – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s International Friendlies clash between United Arab Emirates and Argentina, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Argentina will round off their preparations for the 2022 World Cup with a friendly against United Arab Emirates on Wednesday afternoon.

Lionel Scaloni‘s side are among the favourites for the upcoming tournament in Qatar, and they will be bidding to enter the competition off the back of a positive result and performance in this contest.

Match preview

United Arab Emirates' Harib Abdalla Suhail celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 29, 2022© Reuters

United Arab Emirates have only ever qualified for one World Cup, which was back in 1990, when they were eliminated in the group stage of the competition.

The national side saw their hopes of advancing to the 2022 tournament come to an end in June when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Australia, who went on to beat Peru to progress to the finals.

UAE have played twice since the loss to Australia, both of which have been friendlies, losing 1-0 to Paraguay on September 23 and 4-0 to Venezuela four days later.

Rodolfo Arruabarrena‘s side will also take on Kazakhstan in a friendly on November 19, and they will then be back in action in January, preparing to compete in the Gulf Cup of Nations.

There are no points or prizes on offer for United Arab Emirates in this match, but a positive result against Argentina would certainly leave confidence high as they head towards 2023.

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina on September 27, 2022© Reuters

Argentina, meanwhile, are preparing for their World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia on November 22, while they will also take on Mexico and Poland in the group stage of the competition.

Scaloni’s side have not been in action since beating Jamaica 3-0 in a friendly at the end of September, and they have been victorious in each of their last four matches, including a 3-0 success over Italy in the Finalissima at the start of June.

Argentina have not actually lost a single match since Brazil beat them 2-0 in July 2019, which is an extraordinary run for a side considered to be one of the favourites for the World Cup.

The White and Sky Blues, who won the 2021 Copa America, have lifted the World Cup trophy on two occasions – 1978 and 1986 – while they were runners-up at the 2014 edition of the tournament before disappointingly going out in the round of 16 four years ago in Russia.

Argentina have actually only been past the quarter-finals once since 1990, but they must be considered as a frontrunner heading into the tournament due to their immense quality and impressive form.

United Arab Emirates International Friendlies form:

United Arab Emirates form (all competitions):

Argentina International Friendlies form:

Argentina form (all competitions):

Team News

Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez in action for Argentina in February 2022© Reuters

UAE head coach Arruabarrena will take the opportunity to hand a number of players minutes in this contest, with Caio Canedo among those expected to be in the starting XI.

Ali Khasif is likely to be given the nod between the sticks, while Khalid Al-Hashemi could potentially win just his third cap in a defensive area.

Ali Salmeen and Majid Rashid could both feature in midfield, while Harib Al-Maazmi will be hoping to score just his second international goal in the contest with the South American nation.

As for Argentina, Lionel Messi is set to join up with the squad ahead of this match, but it would be a surprise to see him in the first XI, with the attacker instead likely to feature off the bench.

Head coach Scaloni will want to fully assess the fitness of his players before deciding on an XI here, and there could potentially be a spot in the final third for Paulo Dybala alongside Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez.

Leandro Paredes, Guido Rodriguez and Enzo Fernandez could potentially start as the midfield three, while Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez is expected to play at the back.

United Arab Emirates possible starting lineup:
Khasif; Al-Hashemi, Al Hammadi, Al-Ahbabi, Ibrahim; Salmeen, Rashid, Hamad, Ramadan; Canedo, Al-Maazmi

Argentina possible starting lineup:
E Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, L Martinez, Acuna; Rodriguez, Paredes, Fernandez; Dybala, L Martinez, Di Maria

SM words green background

We say: United Arab Emirates 0-3 Argentina

The result is not too important for either side on Wednesday, but Argentina will not want to enter the World Cup off the back of a poor performance and result. We are expecting this to be a relatively comfortable match for Scaloni’s side, who should have too much quality all over the pitch for their opponents.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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