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Discussion in 'AFC: Tournaments' started by Suren01, Jul 17, 2019.
Group A: China, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam.
When I mentioned about wanting to face new opposition, I didn't have Guam in mind. Travelling between both countries is going to be a total nightmare!
I have a feeling that China are going to struggle in all the away matches. Syria are already used to playing all their games away from home so they won't care, which is why I think they will pip the Chinese to top spot.
I really want to see how China are going to fare in Male', especially after the fiasco in the last qualifiers, and also because I'm certain that the allocation for away tickets will be sold out. It's also going to be first ever trips to Male' for Syria and Guam, which will be interesting. We will also be welcoming the Philippines back. The last two encounters against them at home turned out to be classics, and like the Chinese fans, we can expect the Filipinos to turn out in numbers.
Apparently entering Guam is a bit of a pain. In addition to the long traveling distances, a valid US visa is required, meaning each member of the squad and coaching staff have to sit through an interview.
Maldives' initial plans for a training camp and friendly match in Malaysia had to be scuppered, because the process to obtain the visa will take "from several days to a few weeks", so they are now camping instead in Sri Lanka, where the team will spend much of their time in the US Embassy.
I seem to recall Iran filing a complaint against Guam FA after six of their players were refused entry in the last edition. Hopefully it will not come to that this time.
Guangzhou Evergrande's Brazilian-born striker Elkeson has been included in the preliminary Chinese squad.
He is set to become the first player of non-Chinese heritage to represent China.