‘India needs to play more games’ Sunil Chhetri speaks on Intercontinental Cup Preparations
Ahead of the Hero Intercontinental Cup (June 9-18, Bhubaneswar) and the SAFF Championship (June 21-July 4), Indian Football Team captain Sunil Chhetri…
Ahead of the Hero Intercontinental Cup (June 9-18, Bhubaneswar) and the SAFF Championship (June 21-July 4), Indian Football Team captain Sunil Chhetri said that the competition in both tournaments will be tough with quality teams participating in the events. The back-to-back tournaments will help the Blue Tigers for the AFC Asian Cup final rounds, said the India captain. “The more games we get to play against better opponents, the better it will be for us.” he further said.
“We just need to make sure that we manage it well against these opponents,” said Chhetri. “It’s important to make sure that we improve as a team and individually as well. What we do in the camp is really important we must make sure that we are in a position to put our best foot forward once the Asian Cup is here,” he added.
India (101 in FIFA Rankings) will take on the likes of Mongolia (183), Vanuatu (164) and Lebanon (99) in the Hero Intercontinental Cup, while they will face Kuwait (143), Nepal (174), and Pakistan (195) in Group A of the SAFF Championship. However, one team that is a constant in the back-to-back tournaments, will be Lebanon, as they have been drawn with Maldives, Bhutan and Bangladesh in Group B and could be meeting the hosts again in the knock-out stage.
India skipper Sunil Chhetri believes that playing such teams in the year leading up to the AFC Asian Cup 2023, which is set to take place in Qatar in January, will help the team gauge itself.
“Lebanon and Kuwait will give us an understanding of where we stand, especially as we have to play teams like Syria in the Asian Cup. Uzbekistan could be a level higher. Syria are also a top team. The young boys haven’t played against them, but some of the seniors from Bob Houghton’s time have that experience. They have improved a lot. They are a top side, and obviously, we all know that Australia are one of the best in Asia,” said Chhetri during a media interaction on Saturday, May 27, 2023.
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