Bathenay rings the changes

The UAE's caretaker coach Domique Bathenay is ready to experiment with a new lineup as they prepare for their crucial World Cup qualifier versus South Korea with a friendly against Japan in Nigata.

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The UAE's caretaker coach Domique Bathenay is ready to experiment with a new lineup as they prepare for their crucial World Cup qualifier versus South Korea with a friendly against Japan in Nigata today. The team flew out without their influential captain Abdulraheem Jumaa after a leg injury, sustained last week playing in the Pro League, ruled him out the tour. He was replaced by uncapped Amer Mubarak from Al Nasr. Bathenay's midfield is week as he is already without two of his most experienced midfielders, Subaith Khater and Helal Saeed, both serving one-match bans.

The former France international has a tough task at hand after the UAE were beaten by North Korea 2-1 in their opening match and went down by the same score to Saudi Arabia. They face South Korea in Seoul on Oct 15 and takes on Iran on Nov 19 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae