Preparations for final Asian Cup qualifier begin to take shape

The Palestine Football Association has revealed plans for two preparatory camps that will allow new national team manager Julio Baldivieso an opportunity to get acquainted with the side for the first time.

As first revealed last month, Palestine will jet off to the Algerian capital of Algiers on the 23rd of February. Al-Fida’i will then face Algeria’s U23 team on February 27th- with what is expected to be a squad made up of locally based players.

The two sides met in February 2016 in front of more than 65,000 spectators. Palestine’s senior team emerged victorious over the Algerian Olympic side courtesy of an Ahmad Abu Nahyeh second half goal. 

Palestine, who qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals in the UAE in October after four straight victories against Group D rivals Maldives, Oman, & Bhutan.

The national team can top the group by securing at least a draw in Muscat on March 27th.

Palestine will be looking to pull even with Spain and Germany for most consecutive wins in competitive fixtures by registering its seventh straight win in World Cup/Asian Cup qualifying.

Al-Fida’i has not lost since March 24th, 2016 and a win away to Oman would mark a two year period without a loss- a streak that spans 11 games (8 wins, 3 draws) under previous manager Abdel Nasser Barakat.

The PFA is currently trying to organize a second, longer camp in Saudi Arabia in March but has yet to come to an agreement with the WBPL as to the league’s remaining schedule.

Before jetting off to Oman, Palestine will face Bahrain in Manama on the 22nd of March. It will be the second time the two sides meet in a year,  a 2-0 friendly victory was registered by Palestine last June. 

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