Indian Football Team is all set to be back in action this Tuesday when they take on Nepal in an international friendly (The Buddha Derby) at the Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai. This will be the Blue Tigers’ first game after making it into the top 100 of the FIFA Rankings.
The Buddha Derby is expected to be a good preparation for India before they take on Kyrgyzstan, in their second game of AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers, who will be the Blue Tigers’ toughest opponents in recent times.
India might be without the services of young winger Udanta Singh whose heroics helped India clinch a crucial victory over Myanmar in the first game of Asian qualifiers due to a muscle injury. Sunil Chhetri who has just recovered from a hamstring injury has recovered will be rested. Ck Vineeth is also released from the squad due to an injury.
Considering India’s midfield woes against Myanmar in March , we can expect coach Stephen Constantine to play Shillong Lajong’s 20-year old central Midfielder Isaac Vanlalsawma who was impressive throughout the I-League and Aizawl FC’s Laldanmawia Ralte to prove their worth in international stage.
The game might also provide an opportunity for impressive teenage Left Backs Nishu Kumar or Jerry Lalrinzuala to make their national team debuts.
India have won 11 out of the last 13 games and anything short of a win would be a disappointment.
Nepal had a successful AFC Solidarity Cup campaign under their new manager Koji Gyotoku where they won 3 out of their 4 games to clinch the tournament and earn them a place in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers.
Nepal had a dreadful start to their Asian Cup Qualifiers as they were completely outplayed by Philippines in a 4-1 loss. They are grouped along with Tajikistan, Yemen, Philippines and their progress to AFC Asian Cup 2019 looks very unlikely.
India vs Nepal is the most fierce rivalry in South Asian Football with India dominating majority of the previous meetings. The game on Tuesday is expected to be another easy one for the hosts but Nepal would expect to give them a tough test.
India will head into the game with their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Sunil Chhetri playing behind center forward. Gurpreet Sandhu is expected to guard the posts.
Sandesh Jhingan and Anas will play at the center of the defense along with Pritam Kotal as right back and Narayan Das as a left back. In midfield we can expect to see a lot of changes throughout the game.
Nepal coached by Japanese Koji Gyotoku might play a 4-3-3; experienced midfielder Rohit Chand is expected to sit in the center of their midfield and dictate the play.
Gurpreet Sandhu – Gurpeet has recently become no 1 at Stabaek and he will hope to continue his good run with a solid performance against Nepal.
Rowlin Borges- In the last two years Borges has emerged as India’s best Defensive Midfielder. The young Goan would be key to India’s game by stopping attacks and winning possession in the midfield.
Rohit Chand– The midfielder is vastly experienced having plied his trade in I-League and the Indonesian league. He is expected to sit in the middle of Nepal’s midfield and dictate their game.
India – W,W,W,W,W
India are currently having a dream run, winning 11 out of the last 13 games the last one was 1-0 victory away at Myanmar in the first match of AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers.
Nepal though have won 3 out of their last 5 games and managed to win the AFC Solidarity Cup 2016, But they had a dreadful start to their Asian Cup qualifiers as they were completely outplayed by Philippines in a 4-1 loss.
Head to Head
India and Nepal have met 18 times since 1985 with India winning 12, Nepal winning 2 and 4 matches have ended as draw. But the last time these two teams met in Kerala, India won 4-1 with 17 years old Lalinzuala Changte scoring 2 goals.
Date : 6 June 2017
Venue : Andheri Sports Complex,Mumbai
Time : 7pm IST
TV Live Telecast : Star Sports 2
Live Stream: Hotstar app