4 things to watch for during the international break
Kuala Lumpur: The October international break marks three months to the AFC Asian Cup 2019 UAE, and the participating teams are ramping up their preparations.
As we edge ever closer to January's continental showpiece, the 24 AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 participants continue their preparations with the latest round of international friendlies taking place across the world this week.
Exciting call-ups, young and old, tactical decisions in the making and intriguing clashes all await over the next 10 days. So, join us as we take a look at some of the most interesting things to watch out for this international break.
Ailing Koo misses out on Korea Republic friendlies
Seoul: Midfielder Koo Ja-cheol will miss Korea Republic's upcoming friendlies against Uruguay and Panama as he recovers from a kidney infection.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Koo has been diagnosed with acute pyelonephritis. The FC Augsburg midfielder is also expected to miss German Bundesliga matches.
Koo, who has 19 goals in 70 matches, was looking to make his first appearance since Paulo Bento took over as head coach in August. He didn't play in Korea Republic's friendly matches against Costa Rica and Chile last month.
New Delhi: 13 U-23 players who were part of the Indian squad that emerged runners-up in the SAFF Cup 2018 last month have been called up by national coach Stephen Constantine for a training camp in New Delhi as part of the senior national team’s preparation for the friendly against China PR.
India, who are preparing for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 UAE, will play China PR on October 13 at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
The 29-member squad will assemble in New Delhi on Monday for the two-day camp before they leave for China PR on Wednesday.
Arnold selects four uncapped players for training camp
Sydney: Australia head coach Graham Arnold on Friday named an initial 25-player squad for next week’s training camp in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as his first international friendly match back in charge of Australia against Kuwait on October 15.
Arnold’s squad selections for October’s FIFA window includes 21-players that featured in the Socceroos’ recent training camp in Turkey, and also marks the returns of attacking weapons Mathew Leckie and Tom Rogic to the squad for the first time since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The squad that will convene in the UAE from Monday features four players yet to make their senior international debuts – youngsters Thomas Deng (21), Denis Genreau (19), and Awer Mabil (23) – as well as 25-year-old attacker Martin Boyle. While Deng, Genreau, and Mabil will each be aiming to achieve maiden match minutes for the Socceroos in Kuwait City, Boyle will travel with the squad for the UAE leg of the camp only.
Tehran: Carlos Quieroz admits winning the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will be a tough challenge but the Islamic Republic of Iran head coach has vowed his team will be ready.
Iran won the last of their titles in 1976 and Quieroz said this is a wait that must end.
“My responsibility as a coach is to lead my team to our target. Our biggest challenge in the UAE is winning the title. We’ve not won the title since 1976,” the former Real Madrid coach said to the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran website.
Iran are in Group D alongside Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen and their first target will be to navigate into the knockout stage in UAE 2019 on January 5-February 1.