Bahrain will play the UAE tonight in a top-of-the-table clash in the second Group H game for both sides in the second round of the 2026 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Bahrain National Stadium.
Both teams have three points each but the UAE lead the four-team table because of goal difference, thanks to the 4-0 thrashing they administered to Nepal in Dubai last Thursday.
On the same night, Bahrain also got their Asian Qualifiers campaign off to a good start by defeating Yemen, 2-0, in Abha, Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom’s team experienced few difficulties in overcoming Yemen despite head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi opting to test out his bench strength of his 30-member squad by starting the match with a number of newcomers rather than established regulars.
Pizzi, who says that he likes his players to focus on ball possession, create as many chances as they can and attack as often as possible, did eventually bring in his more experienced players in the second half and might continue with the same tactic tonight – although, given that the UAE team is vastly superior to Yemen’s, he might just decide to start with the senior lot.
Teams from 36 nations, divided into nine groups of four sides each, are competing in the Asian Qualifiers.
The squad: Sayed Mohamed Jafar (captain/goalkeeper), Ameen bin Udai, Walid Al Hayam, Abdullah Al Khalasi, Mubarak Mohammed, Ibrahim Lutfallah, Abdullah Duaij, Abdulla Yusuf Helal, Abdulkarim Fardan, Ali Hasan, Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Hussain Al Eker, Kumail Al Aswad, Jassim Al Shaikh, Mohammed Abdul Qayoom, Hazaa Ali, Ibrahim Al Khatal, Mahdi Humaidan, Ahmed Bu Ghamar, Mohammed Adel, Mohammed Al Hardan, Mohammed Abdulwahab, Ibrahim Al Wali, Mohammed Marhoon, Ali Madan, Mousis Atidi, Hussain Abdulkareem, Hamad Aldoseri, Hussain Salem and Jassim Khulaif.