Bert van Marwijk puts UAE players through their paces ahead of World Cup qualifiers - in pictures

Week-long training camp ends with friendly against India

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The UAE resumed preparations on Tuesday night for their postponed World Cup qualification campaign when they took to the training pitch in Dubai.

Back in his second stint as manager, Bert van Marwijk put his players through their paces at Al Wasl's Zabeel Stadium, as the national team kicked off a week-long training camp in the emirates. The get-together concludes on Monday with a friendly against India, played at the same venue.

The UAE had initially been due to face a World Cup qualifying double-header this week against Malaysia and Indonesia. However all Group G fixtures were last month postponed until June because of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Football Association has since won the right to host the group’s eight outstanding matches in Dubai, with the UAE’s campaign restarting against Malaysia on June 3. Fourth in the standings, five points off leaders Vietnam but with a game in hand, the national team then take on Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam during what is sure to be a frantic 13-day period. Their final match, against Vietnam falls on June 15. The Zabeel Stadium and Al Nasr's Al Maktoum Stadium have been chosen to stage the qualifiers.

Only the group winners advance to the third round of qualification, alongside the four best-performing runners-up from the eight pools. The third phase begins in September.

On Tuesday, the UAE squad was trimmed from 28 players to 26, with Al Ain’s naturalised forward Caio Canedo and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai midfielder Abdullah Al Naqi withdrawn because of injury.

The UAE are scheduled to meet for another camp during the final two weeks in May, before the resumption of the World Cup qualifiers in early June.

Van Marwijk, a World Cup finalist as manager with the Netherlands in 2010, masterminded Saudi Arabia's qualification for the 2018 global finals. He was reappointed as UAE manager in December having been dismissed a year before following only nine months in charge.