With good news filtering in for the Indian football side after the government decided to send the side to the much revered Asia Cup tournament on the back of coach Constantine’s plea, the AIFF took no time in beginning preparations for the same. In a bid to ensure that India were well oiled and drilled to put forward their best bid at the tournament, the Football Federation announced fixtures that the side will play before the Asia Cup which is set to begin early next month.
The Indian football team is set to play international friendlies against Saudi Arabia and China in the run-up to next year’s AFC Asian Cup said an official of the AIFF on Monday.
Talks with both the federations are in advanced stages, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said.
“We are in talks with them and it’s almost 90 percent. We are trying to arrange one home and one away game around October-November.”
The Asia Cup will be played early next year. Preparations for the same will begin in a camp that Constantine is conducting starting July. India are clubbed with hosts United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Bahrain in Group A which will be held across eight centres from January 5 to February 1.
With Saudi Arabia taking part in the ongoing FIFA world cup and China ranked 75th, much higher than India’s 97, the matches will be a huge test for the Indian side and serve as the perfect platform as practice for their Asia Cup showing. The Indian side will be thoroughly tested in both the matches and will need to ensure that their tactics and game plan are flawless if they are to come out of the matches with a win.
The recent Intercontinental Cup win however has shown the world that India are no pushovers and on their day can put up a challenge for any side in the world. We hope to see much more of that in the run-up to the Asian Cup.
India Men’s predicted XI For The Matches: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Narayan Das, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Lalruatthara; Halicharan Narzary, Md Rafique, Rowllin Borges, Udanta Singh; Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Anirudh Thapa, Balwant Singh, Seiminlen Doungel, Dhanpal Ganesh.