SAFF Championship – India face Nepal in final clash

Sunil Chhetri
The most awaited day of the SAFF Championship has finally arrived. India are set to play the finals of the tournament against neighbours Nepal.

In what is to be the biggest game of the year for India, Stimac and his men face a tough test from their neighbors. India have not lost to Nepal in their last 3 very recent face-offs but Nepal too are a finalist. They have come as far as India in the SAFF campaign and are not looking to leave without the trophy.

The Blue Tigers did not have a great start to the Championship, drawing with Bangladesh and a bottom-ranked Sri Lanka. However, they redeemed themselves against Nepal and Maldives, picking up their first 3 points of the Championship against Nepal. Their most recent game against the Maldives was an enthralling one, crushing the Maldivians three-one at home.

Head to Head

The Blue Tigers have faced Nepal twenty-two times and have managed to register fifteen wins. Nepal on the other hand have a poor head-to-head record against them with only two games going in their favor. The two countries have shared points in the rest of the occasions. It is also to be noted that Nepal’s FIFA ranking is 168 but their current form in the SAFF Championship has been commendable. India’s FIFA rankings have gone down from 97 to a staggering 107.

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Predicted Lineups

Coach Stimac and Bose got sent off in the previous match against the Maldives, making them unavailable for the big day. Farukh Choudhary and Brandon are out with injuries too.

India: Gurpreet (GK), Seriton, Mandar, Pritam, Sana, Apuia, Suresh, Yasir, Liston, Manvir, Chhetri(C)

Nepal: Limbu, Aryal, Chand, A Tamang, Bista, N Thapa, T Tamang, Uparkoti, Ghalan, Lama, Shrestha

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It is hoped that the men in blue can render a few goals against their neighbor as they have done in the friendlies in September and the SAFF Championship. India should be confident and poised enough to seal another victory against the opponents that they recently played against. Nepal too will be looking to lift a trophy and avenge previous results so it will be an intense game that could go either way.

Match Facts

Venue – Maldives National Football Stadium

Time – 8:30 pm IST

Telecast – Eurosport, Jio TV

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