Defender Anas Edathodika, who has been one of the mainstays in the current Indian team defence, felt that upsetting China in front of its home crowd is "a tremendously tough job but not an impossible one."
“It'll be a tremendously tough job for us against China, that too at an away match. But winning isn’t impossible. We had a 13-match unbeaten streak including nine wins recently and that is a perfect testament to the team's hard work,” Anas continued.
"The coach has backed the younger guys and they have also repaid it equally. There's a feel-good factor in Indian football at this moment and it provides us with a positive vibe,” he commented.
Having won 12 out of the 17 encounters between the two countries so far the Red Dragons have always enjoyed an upper hand over their Indian counterparts but the 31-year-old defender shared that "both teams have to start afresh on the 13th."
"Indian football has grown by leaps and bounds in the last three-four years. Younger players have put in terrific effort along with the seniors which has eventually helped the team gain more success up front. We can't deny the history but both teams have to start afresh on 13th. Both teams will start from ground zero,” Anas stressed.
"(Sunil) Chhetri- Bhai , Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu), Jeje (Lalpekhlua), Sandesh (Jhingan), etc, have been there for a significant time and they never shy away from sharing a bit or two with the youngsters."
It will be interesting to note if Anas will get the nod in the starting XI on Saturday with no competitive matches under the belt thus far in the new season. The latest Kerala Blasters recruit in the Indian Super League has only served two of his three match ban after an altercation in last season's Super Cup.
Being a defender Anas is aware of the uphill task of keeping the rivals at bay. "Every single game is a tough test for the defenders. But, we have to work cohesively as a unit. Everyone including the attackers, midfielders, defenders have to play their due part to get the job done. It's a no-brainer that the match will be a gruelling one for us."
The kick-off on October 13 at IST 5.05pm.
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