India vs Kuwait – Chhetri’s Grand Finale in All-Important Qualifier

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The stage is set and excitement is mounting for the eagerly anticipated match between India and Kuwait on June 6th, 2024. This game is particularly momentous as it marks Sunil Chhetri’s final appearance in the national jersey for India. Chhetri’s impact on Indian football has been extraordinary with an impressive record of over 120 international appearances, scoring more than 90 goals and holding onto the third highest active goalscorer spot behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Chhetri has become the face of Indian football and an inspiration to numerous young talents over the years.

Recent Form

India

India’s recent performance showcases a team with many flaws in the defensive department and an attacking department that failed to find the back of the net in recent games. Also, consistency plays a huge role in performance, especially when facing top-tier opponents. The mix of seasoned veterans, such as Gurpreet or Bose, alongside rising stars, offers hope for the future. Nonetheless, India is yet to win an international match in 2024. The team scored only one goal this year and on the other hand, conceded eight goals. Strategic refinements and enhanced goal-scoring prowess are much needed for the team’s advancement.

Kuwait

On the other hand, Kuwait’s performance has been inconsistent recently, securing wins against Bahrain, Syria, and Afghanistan, yet facing bitter defeats, especially in key World Cup qualifier matches. The team has shown defensive weaknesses, notably in matches lost to Qatar and India. Moreover, goalkeeper Sulaiman Abdulghafoor will also need to step up for this game as he has conceded 5 goals in the last 2 matches. Overall, the team has conceded 10 goals in their last 5 matches.

Team News

India’s squad presents a mix of seasoned players and emerging talents. All eyes are on Sunil Chhetri as he captains the team for one final time, lending an emotional edge to the game. Key players like Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal, Ashique Kuruniyan, are missing from the squad and their presence and experience will be thoroughly missed. While Jhingan and Ashique are nursing an injury, Kotal has been looked over by Stimac.

Kuwait’s coach, Rui Bento, enjoys the advantage of a full-strength squad. Notable players include the seasoned striker Yousef Nasser, who remains a significant goal-scoring threat, and Faisal Zayed, whose speed and skill on the flanks pose a challenge to any defense.

Head-to-Head Record

Historically, India and Kuwait have had several encounters, with India generally having the upper hand. The last few matches have been closely contested, with both teams showing moments of brilliance. In their most recent clash during the first leg of the WC qualifiers, the game ended in a 1-0 win in favor of India, highlighting the competitive nature of this rivalry.

India has shaken the net eight times, meanwhile, Kuwait has also managed to score 8 in their games against the Blue Tigers. Overall, Kuwait’s experience in international competitions has often given them the edge, but India’s recent form and home advantage could level the playing field. Also, India’s recent victory in the SAFF Championship final in 2023 against Kuwait gives them a slight upper hand at least from the mentality point of view.

Probable Starting Lineups

India XI – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Anwar Ali, Subhashish Bose, Mehtab Singh, Akash Mishra, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Sunil Chhetri (C), Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh.

Kuwait XI – Sulaiman Abdulghafoor (GK), Hassan-Al-Enezi, Khaled Ebrahim, Rashed-Al-Dosary, Mohsen Ghareeb, Ahmad Al-Dhefiri, Redha Hani, Hamad-Al-Harbi, Faisal Zayed, Mohammad Daham, Yousef Nasser (C).

Match Prediction

As Sunil Chhetri’s illustrious career draws to a close, the upcoming match against Kuwait not only transcends the game’s outcome but is a celebration of a legacy left by a player who has dedicated everything to Indian football. Fans are eager for an unforgettable display from the Indian team, culminating in a deserving homage to their exceptional captain.

On the other side, Kuwait is set on disrupting the celebrations and clinching a win to bolster their confidence for upcoming games. With both teams displaying high enthusiasm, this match is expected to be an exhilarating display of passion, skill, and intensity. However, IFTWC predicts a 1-0 win for the Blue Tigers.

Telecast and Streaming

The FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier match between India and Kuwait will telecast live on the Sports18 Network and will also be streamed live on Jio Cinema.


Follow IFTWC for the latest updates on Indian Football

Juni
Juni
A Passionate Kerala Blasters Fc And Indian Football Fan Who Is Grinding Each And Everyday To Achieve His Dreams. An "Always Learn To Clap In Other's Success, Your Time Will Come" Believer :)

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