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Team to be selected after friendly.

Dubai The UAE playing XI to face India in their 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers will be finalised when the national team plays Lebanon in a friendly in Al Ain later this week.

"The coach has his playing eleven in mind and in all likelihood he will start with this team against Lebanon on Sunday," Esmail Rashid, manager of the UAE team, told Gulf News from Austria yesterday.

The UAE squad was scheduled to land in Dubai later today, after which they will move base straight to Al Ain where they will continue their preparations.

"The arrival of the Olympic team players has greatly boosted our tactical ability and the coach [Srecko Katanec] is happy with the way things went after their arrival," he added.

Crucial matches

Sunday's friendly against Lebanon will be the UAE's last test before they face India in Al Ain (July 23) and then away in New Delhi (July 28) in the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

"The players are aware of what is required of them during these crucial matches. The presence of the eight Olympic team players benefited us a great deal as a unit because it was only then the coach was able to implement concrete strategies in our build-up," Rashid said.

During their three-week stay in Austria, the UAE played in three friendly matches EoAC" winning two (beating SV Grodig and CS Pandurii Targu Jiu by identical 2-1 margins) and holding out to a draw (1-1 against Dinamo Bucuresti). "Our process of preparing this team got off seriously only after the arrival of the Olympic team members as they are an integral part of the plan. So the second half of the camp was a time for checking and ensuring everything is in order for our home match [against India]," Rashid said, "At no point are we taking India lightly. We have our team in good shape and we should be coming through with a good result."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 14, 2011
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