India takes on Bangladesh in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday. The Indian football team arrived in Kolkata on 13th October, Sunday, while the Bangladesh side already had a practice session on Saturday morning.
India’s draw against Qatar will provide a huge morale boost ahead of the game against the lowly-ranked Bangladesh team. The Blue Tigers, thus, became the first Asian side to avoid a defeat against Qatar in 2019. It was a commendable performance from the Indian players in the absence of Sunil Chettri to hold the reigning AFC Cup champions hosts to a stalemate.
“We have watched numerous clips on Qatar to give us some help and motivation. I think the India game shows in football if you can defend well and get a bit of luck anything us possible,” Bangladesh chief coach Day told PTI from Dhaka on the eve of its match against Qatar at the National Stadium.
Sunil Chettri will be back for his side for Tuesday's encounter, having recovered fully from the illness that forced him out against Qatar; the Indian captain would be a big threat for Bangladesh.
India enjoy an imperious 15-2 win-loss record in 28 meetings but Bangladesh have managed to stay unbeaten in its last two fixtures (1-1 in SAFF Championships, 2013 and 2-2 in International friendly, 2014).
Both the sides are injury-ravaged as Sandesh Jhingan is the most high profile name to miss this game for India. He picked up an injury in a friendly game against Indian Super League (ISL) side NorthEast United last week. Indian national physio Gigy George informed, "Sandesh has suffered on his left knee ACL tear and needs to undergo surgery. It usually takes 6 months to return to sport. He will be monitored constantly during the rehabilitation phase so that he comes back on the field sooner."
India (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet, Pritam, Adil, Anas, Bheke, Vinit, Thapa, Udanta, Sahal, Ashique, Chhetri
Bangladesh (4-1-4-1): Ashraful, Rahmat, Yeasin, Riyadul, Rayhan, Jamal, Saad, Biplob, Sohel Rana, Ibrahim, Ziban.
Date: Tuesday, October 15th
Kick-off: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.
Telecast: Star Sports 3
Stream: Hotstar, JioTv
India 3-1 Bangladesh
Given India's current form and approach under new coach Igor Stimac, it seems highly unlikely that Bangladesh can hold the home team. If Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, and Sahal Abdul Samad can get going, we could be in for a goal-fest. However, without the ever-reliant Jhingan, India's defence might be a little shaky.