Qatar captain Hassan al-Haydos said friendlies against Switzerland and Iceland would help the national team assess their strengths and weaknesses as they prepare for the prestigious Asian Cup in January.
Qatar take on Switzerland today in Lugano and Iceland on Monday as domestic leagues across the world take a break for a week to allow national teams play international friendlies.
“The match against Switzerland is important for us. We will try to make the best use of it and try to learn as much as possible,” al-Haydos told journalists at a press conference in Lugano.
Switzerland are ranked eighth in the world and would provide a tough test for Qatar who are ranked 96th, one spot below the Faroe Islands and one above India. “Switzerland and Iceland both played in the World Cup in Russia recently, so they obviously are good teams. But we hope to give them a good fight,” said al-Haydos, who represents Al Sadd domestically.
Interest for the game in Switzerland is high as they are also playing in the Nations League and would be treating the Qatar match as a serious tune-up.
Meanwhile, coach Felix Sanchez said he would use the matches to fine tune his side for the Asian Cup.
“Of course one of our main intentions is to get an idea about the players and their fitness levels ahead of the Asian cup,” he said.
Qatar have been quite impressive in their recent friendlies, beating China and Ecuador and drawing with Iceland.
Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has retained the core of his squad who played the World Cup but would also give a lot of younger players a chance to showcase their skills.
Captain Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri are the mainstays of the Swiss side and are expected to play a big role today.
Â© Gulf Times Newspaper 2019