SAFF Championship – India aim to turn things around against Nepal

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India
India

India will take on table toppers Nepal for their third match of the SAFF Championship. The month of September saw the Blue Tigers face Nepal twice in two International Friendlies played in Kathmandu where India shared points with Nepal in the first game and won the second game with a late winner from skipper Sunil Chhetri.

So far in this edition of the SAFF Championship, India has not been able to defeat a 10-man Bangladesh team and a bottom-ranked Sri Lanka. Coach Igor Stimac has come under severe criticism by the fans, and his tactics have raised questions among many. With a contract running till September of 2022 and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in sight, Stimac will need to turn things around in order to avoid a possible dismissal.

Sunil Chhetri

Head to Head

The Blue Tigers have faced Nepal twenty one times and have managed to register fourteen wins. Nepal on the other hand, have a poor head to head record against them with only two games going in their favour. The two countries have shared points in the rest of the occasions.

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It is to be noted that Nepal’s FIFA ranking is 168 but their current form in the SAFF Championship has been commendable and rewarding enough to grant them the leading position in their group. India’s FIFA rankings have gone down from 97 to a staggering 107 and they are 4th currently in the group standings.

Predicted Lineups

India

India: Gurpreet (GK), Seriton, Pritam, Sana, Bose, Glan, Thapa, Brandon, Yasir, Liston, Chhetri(C)

Nepal: Chemzong, Aryal, Chand, A Tamang, Bista, N Thapa, T Tamang, Uparkoti, Ghalan, Lama, Shrestha

Predictions

Nepal have managed to remain undefeated so far in the SAFF Championship. India, acknowledging their previous results, should be determined for a win. After two frustrating draws against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Blue Tigers should be looking forward to go all out against Nepal and grab some crucial points in the group stage. It is hoped that the team can render a few goals against their neighbor as they have done in the friendlies.

Coach Stimac’s tactics have not been particularly predictable but it is expected that India will be confident and poised enough to seal a victory against the opponents that they recently played against. However, Nepal should not be underestimated as they have the momentum on their side and will be looking to build on their run of success in the Championship.

Match Facts

Venue – Maldives National Football Stadium

Time – 9:30 pm IST

Telecast – Eurosport

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