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Zaccheroni's reign begins against Haiti.

Summary: Khalil and Mabkhout out while Omar could be set for a return

Ashley Hammond, Staff Reporter

Al Ain: Alberto Zaccheroni's first game in charge of the UAE will take place with a friendly against Haiti at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain from 4.55pm on Friday.

Strikers Ahmad Khalil and Ali Mabkhout are out through injuries, while midfielder Omar Abdul Rahman looks set for a return.

Zaccheroni was unveiled last month, replacing Argentine Edgardo Bauza, who joined Saudi Arabia in September after failing to qualify the UAE for next year's World Cup.

The 64-year-old Italian's first game was scheduled to be against Egypt, but the latter pulled out, leaving Haiti to fill the void. The UAE will also play Uzbekistan on Tuesday at the same venue from 5pm. Haiti are ranked World No. 56, 16 places above World No. 72 ranked UAE. Uzbekistan are World No. 76.

The former AC Milan and Japan coach is on a 16-month contract leading up to and including the 2019 Asian Cup, which will be hosted by the UAE. Zaccheroni, who won the 2011 edition of the tournament with Japan, is tasked with raising the spirits of UAE fans following their failure to reach next year's World Cup by going all the way in Asia the year after. His journey to achieve that starts here.

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Meanwhile, organisers of the Gulf Cup have given the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, a deadline of Monday to confirm if they will be participating in next month's tournament to be held in Qatar.

The three countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June due to Qatar's support of terrorism, and their respective football associations didn't send officials to September's Gulf Cup draw prompting doubts over their participation.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:5HAIT
Date:Nov 9, 2017
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