India will play their first match of the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2019 against Tajikistan.The match will be kicked off on 8 pm,at the EKA Arena,Ahmedabad.This is the first time Ahmedabad will be hosting any senior level football tournament.
Now let’s take a look how the both teams are prepared before their first match.
First, we take a look on the Tajikistan National team.They have come to India with a 21 member squad which consist some promising and young talents.
The Tajikistans squad, trained by their head coach Usman Tashev, includes the likes of highly-experienced defender Akhtam Nazarov of Tajik League champions FC Istiklol and Malaysia Super League side PKNP FC player Siyovush Asrorov as the Southeast Asian connection.
In fact, 11 of the 21 players in the Tajik squad are from domestic champions Istiklol who narrowly missed out to Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FC for a place in the Inter-Zone Play-Off Semifinals of the AFC Cup 2019.
Tajikistan’s head coach Ushmon Toshev took charges of the team recently and the persian lions have only played two games under him.They also could not manage a win in their previous fixtures.
Players to watch:Parvizdzhon Umarbayev, Akhtam Nazarov
India are the strong favourites of today’s match.After finishing third in the Kings Cup,head coach Stimac called up 35 players for a preparatory camp in Mumbai and selected 25 players for the Intercontinental Cup from that camp. The squad is an amalgam of experienced players and youth talents.
In his first game,stimac set 4-1-4-1 formation against Curacao but after India lost to them,Stimach shifted the formation to 4-2-3-1 against Thailand and they managed to win.
After Amrinder’s shaky start in the previous match,Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will possibly be under the goal.Sandesh Jhingan will be pairing with Anas.In the right back position,there will be a competition between Rahul Bheke and Pritam Kotal though the later one will probably start for his defensive quality.Subhasish Bose will start as left back as well.
Pronoy Halder and Adil Khan may play as the defensive midfielders as they have the ability to win the ball from opponent.The second option is U-17 world cupper Amarjit Singh Kiyam who is a very impressive box to box midfielder and had shown good form in the Kings Cup.Udanta is the best option in the right wing and has been playing consequently in that position for years. Brandon Fernandez will may be start in the left wing position and Sahal Abdul Samad will play the key role in today’s match by playing as the center attacking midfielder.Sahal,22, was the emerging player of the last year’s ISL and possess the ability to create the pattern between the midfield and attcak.
Sunil Chetri will be the solo striker and in the second half,coach may change the formation to 4-4-2 and bring Jobby Justin into the field.
Players to watch: Sunil Chetri,Jobby Justin,Amarjit Singh,Sahal Abdul.
The last time the two teams met, Tajikistan ran away as 3-0 winners in a friendly at home in 2013. The Persian Lions were on the right end of three points a year before that when Kathmandu hosted the two sides in an AFC Challenge Cup tie. India’s last win over Tajikistan dates back to more than a decade ago when they won 4-1 in the 2008 edition of the same competition and Sunil Chetri scored a hatrick in that match.
Kick Off: 8 pm,EKA Arena,Ahmedabad
Where to watch: Star Sports 1,2,3,Hotstar,Jio TV