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Evenly-matched United Arab Emirates and Qatar clash in Asian Cup

Middle Eastern Persian Gulf nations United Arab Emirates and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar go head-to-head for their first Group C Asian Cup game of the tournament in Australia evenly-matched according to Coral.

They are both priced at 10/3 second-favourites to top their pool and are also 17/10 chances for victory as well. That suggests a draw at 2/1 may be the best result to go for.

Despite being relatively new nations in terms in footballing and geographical terms, playing their first-ever official matches in the early 1970s, they have faced each other 27 times before, perhaps due to their close proximity to each other.

UAE, nicknamed Zayed’s Sons after their nation’s founder and first president Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, are undefeated in their last six matches against Qatar. They have won their last two meetings 3-1, and are tempting 33/1 chances to beat them by that scoreline again.

The United Arab Emirates’ first-ever international, meanwhile, was against this opposition, back in 1972 in Saudi Arabia, and they were 1-0 victors. Odds of 6/1 are available for that result.

They happen to have two young prolific strikers in their squad too, with Ali Mabkhout and Ahmed Khalil getting 44 goals between them from twice as many caps combined. They are tempting 23/10 and 12/5 shouts to net again anytime.

Khalil’s clubmate Habib Fardan is another who enjoys getting on the scoresheet, and the goalscoring attacking midfielder is a 7/2 chance.

Captain Omar Abdulrahman is UAE’s star man, though, and his side will be hoping he can stay fit, as he has been hampered with injuries of late. He is 16/5 to score anytime.

Qatar, nicknamed the Maroon, though, hold an 11-8 head-to-head record over Zayed’s Sons, despite not beating them since 2002. They were 2-0 victors that day, and can be backed at 12/1 for that scoreline again.

They will be looking to rely on captain Khalfan Ibrahim, who is fifth on the nation’s all-time goal charts. He is 14/5 in the anytime market.

Midfielder Ali Assadalla could be one to watch, as he bagged a brace for the Maroon in the semi-finals of the Gulf Cup of Nations, which they eventually went on the win, last year. The Bahrain-born starlet has enticing odds of 7/2 to score anytime.