Bangladesh will be trying their best to finish at least second in Group E of the AFC Under-23 Qualifiers, scheduled to begin at Bangabandhu National Stadium from March 27. The 33-member preliminary camp underwent their first practice session at the big bowl yesterday.
Hosts Bangladesh will take on Uzbekistan, Syria and India in Group E. Uzbekistan, ranked 71st in the Fifa rankings, are categorically the favourites but second slot will be up for grabs with Syria ranked at 150th, Bangladesh at 157th and India at 171st.
Uzbekistan will be the first team to arrive in Dhaka on March 20, seven days before the kick-off. India and Syria are scheduled to arrive on March 25.
Meanwhile, the Dutch head coach of Bangladesh, Lodewijk de Kruif will arrive tomorrow to take the charge of the team. Assistant coach Saiful Bari Titu conducted the training session yesterday and will be in charge till De Kruif returns. “We will be playing at home. The conditions will be favouring us. Moreover, we have some experience in the team as a good number of players have played for the national side before. We are looking forward to giving our best,” said Titu yesterday. The 10 group champions and five best runners-up sides will qualify for the final round.