Alberto Zaccheroni’s men are set to test their mettle before the Asian Cup by playing four friendly matches. They are set to take on Trinidad and Tobago on September 6, Laos on September 11, Honduras on October 11 and Venezuela on October 16. It is expected that the White Eagles will also play against Paraguay, Jamaica and Costa Rica which will be announced next week.
The former Juventus boss will be holding five training camps in the run-up to the marquee tournament in January with the first slated to be held in Austria from August 1-18.
Before their first friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on September 6, they will congregate in Spain for their second camp. The friendlies have been carefully planned as Zaccheroni will be looking to test his bench strength when they take on Laos four days later on September 11.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will move to Barcelona for their third camp which is set to start from October 1-10. After training for 10 days they will face a relatively tougher opponent in Honduras who are ranked 66 in the latest FIFA ranking. But their toughest test awaits four days later when they will lock horns against Venezuela on October 16.
The two final camps will be held back in UAE in November and December respectively. The last three friendlies against Paraguay, Jamaica and Costa Rica will be scheduled in close proximity to the camps. A marquee match against Argentina in Abu Dhabi is also on the radar to cap off the preparations.
India have been drawn in Group A of the continental showpiece along with UAE, Bahrain, and Thailand.