The Blue tigers continued their FIFA world cup qualifiers 2022 campaign by narrowly losing to Qatar, courtesy of Rahul Bheke being sent off at the 17th-minute. Qatar won the game, but Indians won the hearts. Even the opposition coach Felix Sanchez lauded the gritty defensive performance of the Indians.
But the attention is now being shifted towards the fixture against Bangladesh. Indian football lovers would be expecting a much better performance from the Blue Tigers after a disappointing display against Bangladesh last time. As an Indian Football fan, these are the five key battles one should keep an eye on.
5. Subashish Bose vs Biplu Ahmed
The first battle in this fixture is between a left-back and a right-winger. It’s a battle on the wings between Subashish Bose and Biplu Ahmed. Subashish Bose plays for ATK Mohun Bagan in Indian Super League. He’s been a part of the defence, which has kept ten clean sheets in 20 games. In comparison, Biplu Singh plays for Bangladesh Premier League side Bashundara Kings.
Biplu Ahmed is a versatile player who can play at wings and in the central midfield as well. Subashish Bose finished as runners-up with ATKMB in ISL, whereas Biplu Ahmed’s Bashundara Kings are table toppers in Bangladesh Premier League. Biplu Ahmed has no goals or assists to his name in Bangladesh Premier League this season, but he has scored against Oman in this World Cup qualifier. It would be a delight for the fans to watch the tussle between Biplu and Subashish.
4. Brandon Fernandez vs Jamal Bhuyan
The second battle lies in the heart of the football field. It’s a battle in the midfield between two players influential in their teams’ performance in the world cup qualifiers. One player has created all goals for his team, whereas the other player gave a solid performance to help his defence. It’s a battle between Brandon and Jamal.
Brandon Fernandez couldn’t play much of ISL this season because of an injury. But in the continental competition, he was once again the only provider of goals for FC Goa. On the other hand, Danish-born Bangladeshi midfielder Jamal Bhuyan, familiar to Indian fans, played in I-League for Mohammedan Sporting and later played for Saif SC in Bangladesh Premier League. Jamal, a versatile midfielder who can play anywhere in the midfield, has 3 assists to his name this season. He has started almost every game in the world cup qualifiers for Bangladesh this time and played a key role in holding Indians from creating chances against them in Kolkata. It would be a mouth-watering clash between Brandon and Jamal.
3. Manvir Singh vs Topu Barman
The third battle is between a centre-back and a centre-forward. It’s a clash between Manvir Singh and Topu Barman. Topu Barman scored an equalizer for Bangladesh against Afghanistan in their last world cup qualifier. On the other hand, Manvir Singh was very close to scoring a historic goal against Qatar. His transfer from FC Goa to ATKMB turned out to be a boon for him as he played more games and finished as runners-up.
He was also the second-highest Indian Goal-scorer alongside Bipin Singh, scoring 6 goals. On the other side, Topu Barman was influential in Bashundra Kings’ successful campaign. He contributed to the defence and gave his contribution to the attack by scoring a goal. It would be interesting to watch whether Manvir can get better off Topu Barman.