The United Arab Emirates hosts Syria in round 7 of the third stage of the World Cup qualification. The match will be played on Friday, January 28th at Al Maktoum Stadium (Dubai)
The football federation of the United Arab Emirates managed to invite Bert van Marwijk to the post of head coach. At his peak, this specialist won trophies with Feyenoord and worked at Borussia Dortmund. As for the national teams, he was able to bring the Netherlands to the final of the World Cup in 2010. However, his career has been on a noticeable decline for quite a long time. And curiously, it is happening just in Asia. After his dismissal from Hamburg, van Marwijk managed the national teams of Saudi Arabia and Australia. And since 2019, albeit with a break, Bert has been employed in the UAE. In general, reaching the final round of the current qualification is already not bad. However, there were no wins in the first five matches in 2021. But the victory over Lebanon gives the Whites hope for success, which will be 4th place at the finish.
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The Syrians are startling the football community with the fact that they play at all, given the situation that is happening in their country (although there are some players from Greece and Sweden, and Aias Aosman is even the best scorer of Ionikos). And the Qasioun Eagles manage to achieve relatively good results. They took part in the Asian Cup in 2019, although they left it after the group stage. And now they were able to make it to the decisive stage of the World Cup qualifiers. However, Syria cannot boast of good results here. There were 1-1 draws against the UAE (at home) and Iraq (away). But the Syrians lost to the leaders, South Korea and Iran, as well as to Lebanon. However, there are some chances of taking the 3rd place, which gives a ticket to the additional playoffs.
It is difficult to single out which team from this pair is much stronger. It was mentioned that the United Arab Emirates and Syria tied in the qualification, and in November, the Whites were able to win at home at the Arab Cup (2-1). As for the upcoming match, the winner will take a serious step towards success in the form of 3rd place in the group. And of course, the UAE should make the most of the game on its native pitch, so we will risk betting on the hosts.