India look to maintain perfect record in Group A
The Indian National Football team will play the penultimate match of their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers when they square off against Myanmar at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Tuesday. Having already qualified for the tournament with a perfect record of four wins from four matches in Group A, the Blue Tigers will be aiming to keep two things intact. One being their unblemished record in the group and the other their unbeaten streak, which has seen them play 12 international matches without a loss.
The corresponding fixture at Myanmar was the opening match of the group, which saw the visitors secure a narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of an injury-time strike by captain Sunil Chhetri. India have gone from strength to strength after that and are currently perched at the top of the group, while Myanmar, with four points, are currently third. Head coach Stephen Constantine can be expected to stick with his regulars as he looks to get the best out of his formula of blending youth with experience in the squad.
As always, the goalkeeping department has the usual depth with the presence of India’s top three custodians in the form of Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Subrata Paul. The defence has the reliable and assuring presence of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika, who’ll want to continue their solid partnership at the back. Narayan Das and Pritam Kotal will be engaged in the fullback positions, while 19-year-old Jerry Lalrinzuala is another young probable along with counterpart Sarthak Golui.
The midfield gets a boost as the robust Pronay Halder returns after a long injury lay-off. The centre of the field may also feature Jackichand Sing and Halicharan Narzary on the wings and the tireless Rowllin Borges along with Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the middle. Youngsters Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh and Nikhil Poojary may also get some minutes.
Skipper and all-time top scorer Sunil Chhetri will lead an attacking line that also boasts the lethal Balwant Singh and the Mizo Sniper Jeje Lalpekhlua. Even though India have sealed qualification, they will want to take maximum points from their final two fixtures and end on a high. That said, Constantine has plenty of room for experimenting as well.
Here is the full list of the 28 probable players:
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith
Defenders: Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal, Lalruatthara
Midfielders: Bikash Jairu, Jackichand Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Mohammed Rafique, Nikhil Poojary, Udanta Singh
Strikers: Sunil Chhetri, Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Hitesh Sharma, Alen Deory