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Qatar U-23 boys have reasons to be confident in Thailand

Doha, Qatar: Qatar Under-23 team arrived in Bangkok, Thailand, with plenty of expectations as they look to add to their Asian title which Al Annabi, coached by Felix Sanchez,  won so emphatically in UAE in February.

Sanchez is again the coach, but Qatar will have to face a tough challenge in Thailand, where they are placed in Group B, alongside Japan, Saudi  Arabia and Syria.

Japan are the 2016 champions when the tournament was held in Doha, while Saudi Arabia finished as the runners up in 2013 in the tournament's first edition.

Sanchez, however, will be confident that he has a rich talent pool to choose from, and the fact that they are the Asian senior champions will give them an added boost.

Al Sadd defender Tarek Salman, who is an Asian champion with Al Annabi, already has loads of experience and will be one of the key players for Qatar who finished third in 2018 and fourth in 2016.

Qatar take on Syria in their opening match on January 9.

They play on Saudi Arabia on January 12 before finishing off their group engagements against Japan on January 15.

The tournament, to be held at Bangkok, Songkhla, Buriram and Pathum Thani from January 8 to 26 has the added importance that it is also also the Asian qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with the top three making the cut.

Qatar squad

Amro Seraj, Abdullah Ali, Homam Al Amin, Salah Hassan, Khaled Muneer, Ahmed Suhail, Ali Malallah, Mohammed Al Bayati, Hassan Ahmed, Tarek Salman, Meshaal Barsham, Hashim Ali, Adel Al Ahmed, Ahmed Al Menhali, Abdulrashid Ibrahim, Abdullah Al Ahrak, Mohammed Emad, Abdulrahman Mohammed, Khalifa Al Malki, Yusuf Abdurisag, Jassim Jaber, Yazan Naim, Nasser Al Yazidi, Nasser Al Ahrak, Mohammed El Bakri, Nayef Abdulrahem.

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