Omar Abdulrahman UAE
Omar Abdulrahman will be the man to watch in the qualifier between Saudi Arabia and UAEReuters

Saudi Arabia and UAE will be involved in a massive Group A game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.

The UAE are currently two points behind the leaders Saudi Arabia in the group, with the latter so far perfect in qualifying as they were awarded a 3-0 win against Malaysia after the match was abandoned due to crowd trouble.

Saudi Arabia will fancy another victory, considering the match is being played at their home turf in Jeddah.

"Saudi Araba are ready to face the UAE," their new manager Bert Van Marwijk said. "I studied them and we know the seriousness of Omar Abdulrahman's threat.

"He is the most dangerous player in the team. But there is another group of outstanding players, and we must be aware of the speed of Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout.

"The UAE team are superior in the classification of FIFA, but that does not mean they are superior to Saudi Arabia."

It is always a daunting prospect for teams playing against Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia, but the UAE manager Mahdi Ali insisted his side will not feel overwhelmed.

"I hope we will claim the full points from this match which is very important for our 2018 World Cup Qualifiers campaign," Ali was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times. "We need to take the full points. Our tactics will be a bit different. I believe my plan will work.

"We are not afraid to meet any team and are used to playing in front of more than 70,000 spectators," he was also quoted as saying by Sport360. "I've never beaten Saudi Arabia as coach of the UAE, but we were unlucky the last time.

"History may not be in our favour, but it is about the effort throughout the entire 90 minutes – not what has happened in the past. "We achieved all our objectives during the recent training camp in Doha and that will be reflected in our performance."

Where to Watch Live

Saudi Arabia vs UAE is scheduled for an 8 pm local time (10.30 pm IST, 9 pm UAE, 6 pm BST) start, with no live TV coverage in India.

The match can be watched by viewers in the Middle East, including UAE and Saudi Arabia, and North Africa on Bein Sports. South Africa viewers can also catch the action on Saudi Sports. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa will be able to catch the match via live streaming online on Bein Sports Connect.

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