The All India Football Federation (AIFF) today announced a 28-man probable squad for the upcoming 2022 world cup and 2023 Asian cup joint qualifiers.
India will face Qatar, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in the joint qualifiers next month. On the back of a 6-0 humiliation against UAE in March, the blue tigers would be looking to prove a point in their upcoming games. Although out of the reckoning for a 2022 World Cup berth, India is still in contention to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup. These three games are crucial for the blue tigers to be eligible for the Asian cup.
Coach Igor Stimac has been under a lot of heat after the 6-0 demolition at the hands of UAE in March. His tactics and playing style have come under a lot of scrutinies over the past few weeks. He would be looking to get India back to winning ways in the upcoming games.
Igor Stimac welcomes back captain Sunil Chettri into the squad after Sunil missed out on the international friendlies against Oman and UAE due to COVID-19. Sunil Chettri is expected to lead the line for the three crucial matches. The captain will be a welcome addition to the squad with his experience and ability to instill confidence into a young Indian team, which had multiple debutants in the previous friendlies against Oman and UAE. Glan Martins has earned a maiden call-up to the national squad probable squad owing to his exploits in the AFC Champions League for FC Goa.
Abdul Sahal, Udanta Singh, Pronoy Halder, and Narender Gehlot are other players back in the squad after missing out on the previous occasion. Few notable players to miss out on are Raynier Fernandes, Halicharan Narzary, Jeakson Singh, Hitesh Sharma, and Ashutosh Mehta.
Qatar start as firm favorites against India but India would be fancying their chances against fellow neighbors Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The Indian contingent would be leaving for Qatar on May 19 from New Delhi. Due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India, the team is all set to commence training in Qatar within a secure bio-bubble.
Full Probable Squad:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Apuia, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Md, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique K.
Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.
June 3: India vs Qatar (IST 10.30pm)
June 7: Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30pm)
June 15: India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30pm)
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