Preview: United Arab Emirates vs. Venezuela – prediction, team news, lineups
Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s International Friendlies clash between United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
United Arab Emirates face Venezuela in a friendly at Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Austria on Monday.
The two nations are only separated by 13 places in the FIFA World Rankings, so it should be a competitive affair.Match preview
Despite narrowly missing out on qualifying for their first ever World Cup by losing 2-1 to Australia in a play-off match in June, UAE are confident of embarking on their most successful era as a footballing nation under Rodolfo Arruabarrena.[prediction]
The Argentinian, who managed several club teams in the Middle East before being hired by UAE in February earlier this year, would have been disappointed to lose 1-0 to Paraguay in a friendly on Friday. [prediction]
United Arab Emirates vs. Venezuela – prediction
Former West Ham United defender Fabian Balbuena broke the Sons of Zayed’s hearts with a 85th-minute winner, with Arruabarrena’s side lacking any real time to get themselves back into the match.
Given that Venezuela routinely struggle in South American qualifying, the 47-year-old may sense an excellent opportunity to notch only his second win since taking charge of the nation.
Venezuela, of course, are managed by an Argentinian themselves, after the experienced head of Jose Pekerman was appointed as their manager last November.
The 73-year-old brings a wealth of international experience with him to the job, having led his home nation and Colombia to World Cup quarter-final appearances in 2006 and 2014 respectively. [prediction]
However, Venezuela clearly represent a much more difficult challenge given that they have never qualified for a World Cup in their entire history, while their best ever Copa America record was finishing in fourth place in 2011.
Despite this, Pekerman has performed reasonably solidly by winning three of his seven games in charge so far, although a 1-0 defeat to Iceland in a friendly on Thursday was a significant blow.[prediction]
Having beaten Saudi Arabia 1-0 in June, though, he and his players should be confident of dispatching UAE in Austria on Monday.
United Arab Emirates International Friendlies form:
United Arab Emirates form (all competitions):
Venezuela International Friendlies form:
Venezuela form (all competitions):Team News
Despite losing late on to Paraguay on Friday, Arruabarrena is likely to have been pleased with his side’s resolute performance, and he may pick the same starting XI as a result.
Ali Mabkhout, who has an astonishing 80 international goals to his name, will be hoping to add to his impressive tally should he lead the line as expected.
Venezuela, meanwhile, have an experienced striker themselves in the form of Everton man Salomon Rondon, who should receive the opportunity to edge closer to 100 caps on Monday.
Jean Fuentes, Teo Quintero, Andres Romero and Emerson Ruiz will all hope to make their international debuts at some stage, having been unused substitutes during the defeat to Iceland last time out.
United Arab Emirates possible starting lineup:Eisa; Aldhanhani, Al Hammadi, Al Attas, Hussain; Al Mehrzi, Salmeen, Ramadan; Caio, Mabkhout, Al Maazmi
Venezuela possible starting lineup:Graterol; Ferraresi, Laratonda, Makoun, Savarino; Rincon, Murillo, Soteldo; Mejias, Rondon, Cumana
We say: United Arab Emirates 0-1 Venezuela
We expect a closely fought affair in Austria, with fine margins likely to decide it.
Each of Venezuela’s last four matches have ended 1-0 to either team, and we can envisage Pekerman’s side winning by this scoreline on Monday.