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Qatar vs United Arab Emirates Predictions

  • 14:00
  • Expired
  • Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

Tip Reasoning

On Friday afternoon, Qatar continued to show the wider audience that they’re a nation on the up when it comes to football. Right from the word go in UAE, Félix Sánchez Bas’ men looked as though they could go deep into the competition and by beating South Korea in the quarter-finals, that’s exactly what they’ve done. After defeating one of the pre-tournament favourites, the Qataris will fancy themselves to do the business against a UAE side that has looked somewhat limited.

There have been a few teams that have impressed at this tournament and Qatar are certainly one of them. They’ve not been as flashy as say the Iranians, but they’ve been solid and are 100% deserving of their place in the semi-final. Defensively, they’ve been second only to Iran, while they’ve done an excellent job of being professional and grinding out results, which is something that is required in tournament football.

It was easy to say that Qatar were doing well when they were thrashing North Korea by six goals to nil in the groups, but they’ve since proved that they’re not one-trick ponies. Sánchez Bas’ men have shown that they can rise to the occasion against better sides too. They delivered a defensively strong performance when edging out Iraq, while they once again showed their grit, determination and resilience when beating South Korea by a goal to nil last time out. Going forward, Qatar haven’t offered too much in the knockouts, but they’ve not needed to because they’ve been so disciplined in defence. Al-Annabi have conceded zero goals in UAE, while they’ve surrendered an impressive average of just 0.48 expected goals, which shows that they’ve also conceded few chances.

In contrast, UAE have often found it tough to keep things tight at the back. The tournament hosts kept just a single clean sheet in the groups, which considering that they went up against Bahrain, India and Thailand, was far from impressive, while they shipped twice against Kyrgyzstan in the last-16. They did manage to shut-out an under-performing Australian side in the quarter-final, though the fact that they surrendered 1.25 expected goals suggests that they were a tad lucky to do so.

In the final third, UAE have looked useful at times; they’ve scored at least once in each of their Asian Cup matches, while they’re averaging a pleasing 1.6 goals per game. However, their back-line is a problem, especially now that they’re going up against a side that has kept things very tight.

Quite simply, Qatar look far more equipped to deal with an opposing threat; they’ve conceded less goals than UAE, have conceded less expected goals, have conceded less shots and have conceded less shots on target. If we consider this in conjunction with the prices on offer, then it becomes hard not to back the Al-Annabi to squeeze through to the final.

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