Know your opponents: Jordan to be a tough test for India
The India national team will continue their preparations for the all-important AFC Asian Cup 2019 when they face Jordan on November 17 at the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman. The match will be the first international meeting between the two nations
India are currently ranked 97th in the FIFA World rankings while Jordan are placed in the 112th position. Despite the slightly superior rank, the Blue Tigers cannot afford to take their opponents lightly on Saturday. The Jordan side, playing at home, has enough firepower to give Stephen Constantine’s men a tough time.
Jordan recently underwent a change at the top after Jamal Abu Abed was replaced by Vital Borkelmans as the new head coach. The Belgian has been tasked with guiding the nation to a successful campaign in the AFC Asian Cup and the fixture against India will serve as the perfect opportunity for him to test the strength of his squad. Jordan are yet to taste victory under his stewardship but have looked like a strong and organised unit. Borkelmans is a shrewd tactician and has been the assistant to Marc Wilmots for the Belgium national side during the 2014 World Cup.
Jordan’s most recent fixture was a 2-1 loss to 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia back in October. Despite the loss, Jordan were hailed for their gritty performance against a superior side. Prior to that, Jordan held Oman (ranked 84th) and Albania (ranked 60th) to goalless draws, both of which were impressive results. Borkelmans and co. will definitely be full of confidence going into the match against India.
Central to Jordan’s attacking exploits will be forward Baha’ Faisal. The youngster, who currently plies his trade with Jordanian side Al-Wehdat SC, is known for his strong shooting ability and physicality. He also made an impact in the match against Croatia, coming on as a substitute and getting his name on the scoresheet. When India line up against Jordan on Saturday, they cannot afford to give Faisal too much space to work his magic.
The 29-year-old versatile midfielder currently plays for UAE’s Dibba Fujairah. Bakhit is primarily an attacking midfielder but can play on either wing. He will be Jordan’s creative force from the midfield and can also pitch in with important goals when needed.
Goalkeepers: Amer Shafi, Moataz Yaseen, Ahmed Abdel-Sattar, Abdallah Al-Fakhouri
Defenders: Mohammad Al-Basha, Bara Marei, Tareq Khattab, Yazan Abu Arab, Ibrahim Al-Zawahreh, Feras Shelbayeh, Ihsan Haddad, Yasser Al-Rawashdeh
Midfielders: Khalil Bani Attiah, Obaida Al-Samarneh, Rajaei Ayed, Ahmed Samir, S Alajalin, Yaseen Al-Bakhit, A Zghayer, Munther Abu Amarah, Ahmed Al-Ersan, Mahmoud Al-Mardi;
Strikers: Saleh Ratb, Jaime Siaj, Baha' Faisal, O Al-Qarra, Saeed Murjan, Musa Al-Taamari