After securing a 1-1 draw against a strong Omani side, the Blue Tigers’ will be facing a sterner test against UAE tonight. While the first half of the previous game was disappointing from India ‘s point of view, Igor Stimac’s side bounced back really well in the second half.
Despite the fact that India ‘s talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri could not make the squad due to COVID, the Indian youngsters performed really well despite their inexperience. At this point, India ‘s youthful camp would be really high in confidence.
After successfully holding Oman to a 1-1 draw using this system, Igor Stimac would like to use the same system once again. However, he might make a few changes in terms of personnel this time around.
The first change that Stimac might make to the India lineup is moving Bipin Singh to the left flank and putting Liston Colaco on the right, consequently after Bipin Singh was ineffective for much parts of the game on the right flank. This would mean that Ashique Kuruniyan might drop to the bench.
While Ashique had a really good game, Igor Stimac would be looking to give some more minutes to the newer footballers in Colaco and Bipin. However, it might not be a surprise to see Ashique play from the start, or even from the bench as a left back substitute for Akash Mishra. It must be also noted that Igor Stimac might play Mohammed Yasir on the right flank, who had a good game against Oman.
In midfield, Jeakson Singh looks almost certain to drop to the bench after a rather below par outing against Oman. Furthermore, even Suresh Singh Wangjam looks certain to drop to the bench, despite having an overall decent game against Oman.
Instead, Apuia looks certain to start alongside Raynier Fernandes in the interior midfield position. Despite Rowllin Borges not having the greatest of games against Oman, Stimac might start him in the defensive midfield position for some extra bit of stability and defensive cover against a strong UAE attack.
However, if Stimac does decide to play Apuia as a number 6 like last time around, we could possibly see Suresh Singh or Mohammad Yasir in the interior positions as well.
In defence, Stimac might not make many changes to the starting lineup that played against Oman. However, Stimac might give Pritam Kotal a chance at right back instead of Ashutosh Mehta.
While Ashutosh Mehta did make an important tackle in the second half, apart from that, he seemed like a weak link in India ‘s backline. Consequently, Kotal might get a look in.
Stimac in his press conference did mention that Jhingan would be given some rest. Hence, it is expected that Adil Khan would start this game alongside Chingalesana Singh.
In goal, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will start the game as mentioned by Igor Stimac.
After a convincing result last time around, the Blue Tigers’ will look to repeat their heroics once again. It will be interesting to see whether this new look India team can defeat a strong UAE side.
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