The Palmerbet Sports Team have a preview and soccer tips for Australia’s Asian Cup quarter-final showdown with UAE. Can the Socceroos keep their title defence alive?
History: Played 5: Australia 3 V UAE 0 (2 Draws)
Last meeting: March 28, 2017: Australia 2 d UAE 0 at Allianz Stadium
Australia have made it to the last eight at the Asian Cup, where they meet hosts UAE.
Graham Arnold’s Socceroos have bounced back strongly from their first-up 1-0 loss to Jordan. They won their remaining group matches against Palestine (3-0) and Syria (3-2) to seal their place in knockout stage. Tom Rogic hit a 93rd-minute winner to edge Syria.
The defending champssocc then progressed to the quarters by ousting Uzbekistan on penalties after a scoreless match.
UAE topped their group unbeaten, notching 1-1 draws with Bahrain and Thailand either side of a 2-0 defeat of India. They won a Round of 16 thriller against Kyrgyzstan, courtesy of Ahmed Khalil’s extra-time penalty.
Ali Mabkhout has scored in each of UAE’s last three matches.
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan (who was outstanding throughout) and the returning Matthew Leckie were the Socceroos’ shootout heroes against Uzbekistan. Rogic will miss this clash through suspension, with Jackson Irvine or Mustafa Amini in line for the crucial No.10 role.
UAE are goalless in five matches against Australia, who have won the last three between the nations.
The Socceroos won both legs of their 2018 World Cup qualification tie – 1-0 in Abu Dhabi and 2-0 in Sydney. They also met in the 2015 Asian Cup semis, with Australia prevailing 2-0 in Newcastle.
The UAE sit 79th in the FIFA rankings and all of their opponents so far have been ranked lower. Australia are 41st in the world and should be able to overcome the home-crowd factor via their defensive class and attacking firepower.