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AFC Asian Cup 2023: India's Predicted Line-up against Uzbekistan

Published at :January 16, 2024 at 8:03 PM
Modified at :January 16, 2024 at 8:03 PM
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Rutvij Joshi

Indian football team is expected to make major changes in midfield against Uzbekistan.

India finds itself at a critical juncture in the ongoing AFC Asian Cup 2023, having suffered a setback against the Socceroos. As the Blue Tigers gear up for a virtual do-or-die encounter against Uzbekistan, all eyes are on Igor Stimac’s line-up choices in the all important game.

Khel Now brings you the predicted starting 11 for this crucial clash, aiming for a turnaround in fortunes at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday. Igor Stimac’s men are expected to lineup in 4-2-3-1 formation for the game.

Goalkeeper: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Gurpreet will guard the sticks for India in the AFC Asian Cup. (Courtesy: AIFF)

Despite a rare blunder in the previous game against Australia, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu would retain his spot between the posts. Known for his commanding presence and shot-stopping abilities, India shall rely on him to anchor the defense and redeem himself from the earlier setback.

Right Back: Nikhil Poojary

In a match where attacking opportunities were scarce against the Aussies, Nikhil Poojary stood out in the rare attacking output for the team with his stellar cross. His dual prowess in both attacking and defensive aspects makes him a valuable asset on the right flank, providing width and defensive stability.

Centre Back: Sandesh Jhingan

Jhingan is one of the most trusted Indian defenders. (Courtesy: AIFF)

Sandesh Jhingan, the defensive stalwart, is a non-negotiable presence in the heart of India’s defense. Known for his commitment and resilience, Jhingan’s leadership on the field will be crucial as the Blue Tigers aim to secure a solid defensive foundation.

Center Back: Rahul Bheke

Mumbai City FC captain, Rahul Bheke, showcased unwavering courage and defensive prowess against the physically dominant Australians. Expect him to continue his solid performances, ensuring a resilient backline against Uzbekistan’s threats.

Left Back: Akash Mishra

Might replace Shubhasish Bose, Akash Mishra adds athleticism and precise deliveries from the left flank. With India anticipating more attacking opportunities, Mishra’s ability to join the attack seamlessly and contribute defensively makes him a strategic inclusion.

Central Defensive Midfielder: Deepak Tangri

A surprising but impactful selection in the previous game, Deepak Tangri proved his worth with a blend of physical strength and precise passing. Positioned as a shield in front of the defense, Tangri aims to disrupt Uzbek attacks and provide a platform for India’s build-up play.

Central Midfielder: Apuia

Khel Now’s Indian Football Team Predicted line-up against Uzbekistan.

Lalengmawia Ralte had a passing accuracy of 96 percentage against Australia where India were stuck in their own box defending the ball. Apuia not only defended valiantly but also was pinpoint with his passing accuracy.

Central Attacking Midfielder: Brandon Fernandes

With Sahal Abdul Samad sidelined due to injury, the in-form FC Goa midfielder, Brandon Fernandes, is expected to assume a free role in the attacking midfield. Stimac will look to Fernandes to unleash his creative magic, unlocking the opposition defense with flair and vision.

Left Winger: Naorem Mahesh Singh

Arguably India’s most dynamic winger at the moment, Naorem Mahesh Singh might replace the fatigued Manvir on the left flank. Mahesh’s pinpoint crosses, quick passes, and finishing abilities make him a potent force as India seeks an edge in the attacking third.

Right Winger: Lallianzuala Chhangte

Lallianzuala Chhangte
Lallianzuala Chhangte will be crucial for India’s chances to excel. (Courtesy: AIFF)

Lallianzuala Chhangte brings pace, a wicked left foot, and the ability to cut inside from the right. As an instrumental part of India’s attacking strategy, Chhangte’s contributions will be crucial in providing width and creating goal-scoring opportunities.

Striker: Sunil Chhetri

Leading the line is the iconic Sunil Chhetri, the talismanic striker and India’s all-time leading goal-scorer. Chhetri’s experience, goal-scoring instincts, and leadership will be paramount as the Blue Tigers aim for a spot in the knockout stages.

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