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Football — India vs Afghanistan: Predicted line-ups & key players to watch out for

India and Afghanistan are set to battle it out for the third place in group E of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Indian football team  (Source: AIFF Media)

Indian football team  (Source: AIFF Media)


Siddharth Mishra

Updated: 15 Jun 2021 10:35 AM GMT

The Blue Tigers take on Afghanistan today in the last game of the joint FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 2023. India only needs a point to secure third place in the group and directly qualify for the third round of qualifying for the AFC Asia Cup 2023. On the other hand, only a victory can secure third place for them in the group.

It will be a different kind of a test for India as compared to Bangladesh, but the question is how will India approach the game. Will they play keeping in mind that a draw helps them finish third in the group, or will they go out all guns blazing. Here are my predicted line ups for the game tonight.

Indian Football Team (3-5-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Chinglensana Singh; Glan Martins, Brandon Fernandes, Udanta Singh, Suresh Wangjam, Ashique Kuruniyan; Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri

Afghanistan (4-3-3): Ovays Azizi; Masih Saighani, Zohib Amiri, Sharif Mukhammed, David Najem; Abdul Najem, Husin Alizada; Zubayr Amiri, Amiruddin Sharifi, Farshad Noor, Faisal Shayesteh;

Who are the players to watch out for?

1. Ashique Kuruniyan

Ashique, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, had an exceptional game against Bangladesh. He assisted Sunil Chhetri's first goal, by putting in an inch-perfect cross for the captain to head home. It looks like he will have a key impact on tonight's game.

2. Zohib Islam Amiri

The veteran center back for Afghanistan has been an integral part of the team for the last few years. He will be up against India's all-time top scorer Sunil Chhetri, in a battle that could determine the result of the game.

3. Brandon Fernandes

He has been leading the line in terms of creativity for the Indian team, and a lot will be riding on his shoulders in the match against Afghanistan. Brandon's ability to hold the ball, and the way he dictates the play makes a huge difference for the team going forward.

When & Where to Watch India vs Afghanistan

The match will be broadcasted on the Star Sports network. You can also stream it on Hotstar and Jio TV.

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