India gear up for must-win match against Bangladesh in Asian Cup qualifiers

Indian play Bangladesh on Monday aiming to get their first win of the campaign and keep their hopes of qualifying for Asian Cup 2023 alive.

Indian national football team players training in Doha; Credit: Twitter/@IndianFootball
By Sreejith C R | Jun 6, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


India will play Bangladesh on Monday in their 7th Group E fixture of the joint FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers at Doha. After a 0-1 loss to Qatar, they will aim for nothing less than three points on June 7. With two games remaining, the Indian football team need six points to keep chances of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 alive. They are, however, already out of contention for a World Cup berth. India’s head coach Igor Stimac is likely to start with an attacking lineup unlike the previous match.

In the last meeting between these teams, India needed a late equaliser from defender Adil Khan to secure a point. Even then, the Blue Tigers have an upper hand over Bangladesh, having won three of their last five meetings. The last victory was during the 2009 SAFF championship.

In the Qatar match, Stimac started with a five-man defence and two defensive midfielders, which was justifiable. But on Monday they will need to go all out to attack. Debutant Glan Martins is likely to keep his place and youngster Suresh Singh might be replaced with an attacking midfielder.

Pritam Kotal will slot in at the right-back position instead of Rahul Bheke. This is nothing tactical, but down to Bheke getting sent off in the 17th minute of the previous game.

Team changes for India?

Chinglensana Singh might come in to partner Sandesh Jhingan, who gave a solid performance against Qatar, at the central defence.

The more attack minded left-back Akash Mishra is likely to replace Subashish Bose. That means Ashique Kuruniyan will move to the wings. Either Sahal Abdul Samad or Brandon Fernandes will start as the playmaker.

Meanwhile Udanta Singh, who came in for Sunil Chhetri at half-time in the previous match might keep his place in the right-wing. Chhetri and Manvir Singh will have the task of finding the back of the net.

Youngster’s Ishan Pandita, Liston Colaco, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Lalengmawia are handy options on the bench.

Bangladesh are coming into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw against Afghanistan. Englishman Jamie Day’s side are bottom of the group with two points from 6 games. 

India are fourth in the table with three points from six games and are desperate to get their first win of the campaign.



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