The mood in the Indian camp is upbeat as the Sunil Chhetri-led side gets ready to begin its campaign against a higher ranked Tajikistan in the AFC Challenge Cup football tournament at the Dasarath Stadium here on Friday.
India did not have a great outing in the two international friendlies against Azerbaijan and Oman, preceding the tournament, but coach Savio Medeira is confident that the team would come up with all guns blazing against Tajikistan.
“It was difficult for us to field the frontline team in the two international friendlies, as most of our players were nursing some injuries. But now all of them have recovered. We have a full-strength side at our disposal,” Medeira said.
The coach also revealed that coming a bit early for the tournament helped the team to get “acclimatised to the conditions”. However, he said India will have to guard against complacency.
Karanjit Singh is likely to be the first choice goalkeeper, while Samir Naik and Syed Rahim Nabi are likely to be the two wing-backs with Gourmangi Singh and Raju Gaikwad the two stoppers.
The four-man midfield is likely to be manned by Anthony Pereira, Adil Khan, Rocus Lamara and Francis Fernandes while Chhetri and Sushil Singh will start upfront.