3 FIFA International Cup 2022 qualification fits performed: One draw and two losses. Igor Stimac-coached India’s qualifying marketing campaign has been some distance from absolute best, and Thursday’s fit in opposition to Afghanistan may well be the ultimate alternative to stay themselves alive.

 FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: India grapple with goal drought, artificial turf in all-important Afghanistan clash

Indian soccer staff gamers all through a coaching consultation. Symbol: Twitter @IndianFootball

Whilst qualifying for the mega match nonetheless appears to be dream, issues are not going to devise for the Asian Cup both. Qatar, the match hosts for the International Cup, lead the desk with 10 issues – forward of Oman (6) and Afghanistan (3) with India fourth (2) in Workforce B.

Statistically, India have an amazing head-to-head report in opposition to Afghanistan throughout competitions – six wins, one  loss and one draw. However, the staff on paper will probably be just a little being concerned to peer for Stimac taking into account a vulnerable line of defense and the lack to attain objectives.

Defender Anas Edathodika has returned to India owing to a circle of relatives emergency, Sandesh Jhingan, dominated out for upto 5 months, continues to get well from a knee damage he suffered all through India’s apply fit in opposition to NorthEast United FC previous to dealing with Bangladesh.

Midfielder Adil Khan’s damage has additionally added to India’s woes forward of the foremost conflict, and it is going to be fascinating to peer if he’ll be risked on this fit or wait until the following sport in opposition to Oman on 19 November.

Had it now not been for Adil’s overdue strike in opposition to Bangladesh to control no less than a draw, virtually all will have been over again in October itself.

Narender Gehlot stays India’s lone central defender forward of this fit. Then again, it is still observed if the 18-year-old, who’s but to play for Jamshedpur FC within the Indian Tremendous League (ISL) will probably be selected or now not.

Stimac has choices in right-back Rahul Bheke or left-back Subhashish Bose who may play within the central midfield position.

It’s going to even be a very powerful for younger midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad to create a partnership with Anirudh Thapa in central midfield. Thapa, who has been instrumental for India through the years, has created 4 possibilities in as many ISL video games for Chennaiyin FC. That is excluding the 153 correct passes he has made within the league.

Then again, skipper Sunil Chhetri has steered the staff to head for the kill and now not simply be content material with developing possibilities.

“We’re developing possibilities. However that isn’t sufficient. We’ve got to check out our easiest to transform them and take a look at to be a harder unit whilst protecting. We’ve got neglected in opposition to Bangladesh and we wish to pull up our socks in opposition to Afghanistan,” the Bengaluru FC striker had mentioned in Dubai, the place they’d a couple of coaching classes.

Regardless of the mindset India have this present day, Stimac and Co. can’t come up with the money for to proceed their sloppy defensive soccer, and Chhetri and Co, who closing scored a couple of target in a sport again in January (in opposition to Thailand within the Asian Cup), should pull up the socks and exhibit a disciplined, well-structured efficiency in opposition to the Afghans.

Given the groups will probably be participant on an astroturf and sub-zero temperatures in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe, Stimac gave the impression a fearful guy, admitting that it is going to be very tricky to play on stipulations which his gamers are much less acquainted with.

In reality, the gamers did educate on a man-made turf in New Delhi’s HTC Sports activities Academy, however with gamers simply vulnerable to accidents, it is still observed if the squad will have the ability to take on the cruel stipulations.

In the meantime, Afghanistan come into the sport with midfield as their main power. Skipper Farshad Noor has an revel in of taking part in with Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven of their early life device, which is composed of gamers like Zelfy Nazari and Najim Haidary.

Afghanistan, like India, have goal-scoring problems and feature best scored as soon as in 3 fits, with Farshad scoring the successful target in opposition to Bangladesh. They suffered a horrific 6-Zero defeat to Qatar of their opener, their contemporary loss got here in opposition to Oman in October, taking place in a 3-Zero defeat.

India will hope extra accidents or suspensions don’t upload as much as the already depleted facet, however should exhibit a spirited, motivated efficiency if they’re to search out their first 3 issues.


India: Sunil Chhetri (Captain),Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Rahul Bheke, Narender, Adil Khan, Subhasish Bose, Sarthak Golui, Mandar Rao Dessai, Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Seiminlen Doungel, Raynier Fernandes, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul Samad, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Ashique Kuruniyan, Manvir Singh, Farukh Choudhary, Lallianzuala Chhangte.

Afghanistan: Faisal Hamidi, Ovays Azizi, Ahmad Hellal Hosseini, Hassan Amin, Haroon Fakhruddin Amiri, Zelfy Nazary, Najim Haidary, Farzad Ataee, Sharif Muhammad, Ali Baset Nazari, Benjamin Nadjem, Milad Intezar, Noor Hussin, Farshad Noor, Fayal Shayesteh, Abassin Alikhil, Naeem Rahimi, Mustafa Azadzoy, Milad Intezar, Rahmatullah Khairkhah, Milad Intezar, Norlla Amiri, Zubain Amiri, Omran Haydary.


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