Fit-again Sunil Chhetri boosts India’s chances in friendly against Jordan | Soccer News

DOHA: Excited by the return of talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri to their ranks, India still have a tough job ahead when they face top-seeded Jordan in an international football friendly here on Saturday.
Chhetri, 37, last played for India in their 3-0 win over Nepal in the SAFF Championships final in October 2021 but has since been sidelined due to injury.
The match is India’s last warm-up outing ahead of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers which kick off in Kolkata from June 8.
Jordan is ranked 91st against India 106th in the FIFA rankings.
“Another game against a stronger team will always help,” head coach Igor Stimac said of the team that arrived here on Wednesday.
“It’s our last friendly before the qualifiers, and we need to get some definitive answers on some questions. Some of our youngsters will have a great opportunity to gain more experience at international level,” he added.
The team has been in training camp for more than a month, first in Bellary in Karnataka and then in Calcutta, and the coach said the physical condition of his players “is quite good”.
“We still have 10 days (before the Asian Cup qualifiers), and it should be perfect. The boys did a great job, and they should be rewarded with good results in the qualifiers,” Stimac said.
On Jordan as the opposing team, the coach said: “Jordan are better ranked than Belarus (FIFA 93 Ranking) but are not as physical as Belarus. So for us it should be a little easier when it comes to building and ball possession.”
The “Blue Tigers” had played against Belarus in the FIFA international window in March, a game where they lost 0-3.
The Indian workforce has been strengthened by the arrival of ATK players Mohun Bagan, absent from the preparatory camp due to their club commitments in the AFC Cup.
“They arrived very late (May 26, 2022 in the morning) after playing 3 games in 7 days, and therefore we have to be careful with them. We still have more than 36 hours ahead of them to recover and I will make a decision whether or not to line them up on the 28th morning,” Stimac said.
The match starts at 9:30 PM IST.

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