India vs Bangladesh FIFA World Cup Qualifier | Predicted Indian Lineup
As India goes in search for a victory against Bangladesh in tonight's Word Cup qualifier, here is the predicted Indian lineup that is set to take the field.
After the disappointing 1-0 loss against Qatar, India will be hungry to make amends against what is, on paper, a much weaker Bangladesh side. That theory might be put to the test, though, as it happened back in 2019 when a late Adil Khan header saved India the blushes at a packed Salt Lake Stadium.
Considering the fact that India has just two more joint World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers left to play, getting a victory tonight is vital for our Asian Cup qualification hopes. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Igor Stimac sets out to attack the opposition slightly more compared to what we did against Qatar. Here is our predicted Indian lineup for what promises to be an interesting game of football:
After yet another stupendous performance against the Asian champions just three days ago, Gurpreet is a sure-shot starter for this one. Rahul Bheke's red card means he is going to miss out with Pritam Kotal likely to be deployed at right-back. Chinglensana Singh is expected to make a comeback as well, while Sandesh Jhingan picks himself. Akash Mishra at left-back might have a case, but Stimac is likely to go with the more experienced Subhasish Bose.
This is the area of the pitch where India have to be better than what they were against Qatar. Although Glan Martins had a decent debut, he isn't the kind of player who can initiate attacks or circulate possession with excellent efficiency. The same also stands true for the gritty and energetic Suresh Wangjam, who put in quite a shift as well. That is the reason why we think Stimac will go with a slightly different formation and start Brandon Fernandes just behind Chhetri tonight as the link between midfield and attack. His ability to pick a pass and carry the ball through crowded spaces should prove to be invaluable. Of course, other options like Apuia, Sahal Abdul Samad and Mohammad Yasir are also there.
It is likely to be a similar attacking set-up with Bipin Singh, Sunil Chhetri and Manvir Singh taking up their positions in the frontline. Chhetri looked a little rusty in the last game, but that is understandable since he has just recovered from COVID. Hopefully, the minutes that he got against Qatar will help him get up-to-speed tonight. As far as the other two are concerned, they have to do a better job of holding onto the ball and bringing others into play if India are to harbour hopes of a victory.