India National Team are all set to play their first friendly of 2022 on 23rd March. The Blue Tigers will be back in action after a long time. Both India and Bahrain will look forward to this friendly as a preparation for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers which are to be held in June. The Indian national team last played a match back in October, when they won the SAFF Championship. Since then, the players have been busy with their club duties. With the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers knocking on the door, Igor Stimac’s men will be looking forward to working on their strengths and weaknesses in the upcoming friendlies.
On the other hand, Bahrain will be keen on strengthening their squad and finding the right XI ahead of the Asian Qualifiers. They have already played two friendlies this year against Uganda and Congo DR and will be in good shape. Undoubtedly, they will start as the favorites in this encounter. Their target is expected to be to develop the best possible side for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in June this year.
Indian National Team – India will miss a few players from Mumbai City FC since they are currently in Abu Dhabi preparing for their upcoming AFC Champions League campaign in April. Meanwhile, the 25-man squad announced on Monday revealed the inclusion of seven new faces in the Indian team. Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Anwar Ali (Jr), Hormipam Ruivah, Danish Farooq, Naorem Roshan Singh, VP Suhair, and Aniket Jadhav have got their maiden callup to the national camp.
Additionally, seven players from the 25-member squad will also miss the first friendly against Bahrain on Wednesday (March 23) as they are yet to travel to the country and join the team due to visa issues. Amrinder Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra, Aniket Jadhav, and Bipin Singh are the seven players currently in India. Coach Stimac informed that these players are yet to take the flight to Bahrain for the friendlies.
Bahrain National Team – Bahrain on the other hand, have a fully fit team available against Congo DR on February 1 and will be looking to proceed with their strongest possible XI.
HEAD TO HEAD RECORDS
India Wins – 0
Bahrain Wins – 5
Matches Draw – 1
India have played six times against Bahrain prior to this fixture. Bahrain have emerged victorious on five of those occasions. The recent encounter took place at the AFC Asian Cup on January 14, 2019, where Bahrain won 1-0, thanks to a late penalty. The Blue Tigers have managed just a draw in one of those six matches.
FORM GUIDE (Last 6 matches)
India National Team – Won 3-0 vs Nepal, Won 3-1 vs Maldives, Won 1-0 vs Nepal, Draw 0-0 vs Sri Lanka, Draw 1-1 vs Bangladesh, Won 2-1 vs Nepal
Bahrain National Team – Won 1-0 vs Congo DR, Won 3-1 vs Uganda, Lost 3-0 vs Oman, Draw 0-0 vs Iraq, Lost 1-0 vs Qatar, Won 2-0 vs Kuwait
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
IFTWC’s MATCH PREDICTION
Bahrain have nothing to fear against India on their own turf in the friendly. The Reds should dominate the majority of the possession and will look to create fast-paced, incisive attacking moves. They’ll pile bodies forward and are guaranteed to test India’s resolve by creating a lot of chances in the game because of their free-flowing style.
With 7 players of the Indian national team missing the camp due to visa issues India will have to field a depleted squad against a strong Bahrain side. As past results suggest it’s going to be a very difficult game for the Blue Tigers and the match might even turn out to be a heavily one-sided affair. It’s safe to say that in order to get a result, India must be brave and maintain a very tight shape against this hungry Bahrain side. IFTWC predicts a 2-0 win for hosts Bahrain.
MATCH AND TELECAST DETAILS
Match: Indian National Team vs Bahrain National Team (International Friendly)
Date: March 23, 2022
Venue: Al Muharraq Stadium in Arad, Bahrain
Timings: 9:30 PM IST.
Live Telecast: No Live Telecast or streaming in India
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