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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

India vs Kuwait Preview, predicted lineup, injury news, H2H, telecast | 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Published at :June 5, 2024 at 8:30 AM
Modified at :June 5, 2024 at 3:32 PM
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Uttiyo Sarkar

India will consider this as a must-win game to keep their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 3 hopes alive.

India are in desperate need of a win when they host Kuwait in their next 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier second-round clash on Thursday (June 6). The Blue Tigers will hope to end their miserable losing run in 2024 at the Salt Lake Stadium in what will also be Sunil Chhetri’s final match for the national team.

India need to win to keep their hopes of progressing into the third round of qualifying alive and well, while also ending this awful rut that has set in since that win over Kuwait in November 2023. The visitors, however, will aim to ruin Chhetri’s final hurrah by producing a sturdy and efficient performance to pile on the Blue Tigers’ misery in their yard.

The Stakes


Igor Stimac is under immense pressure to deliver India’s first win in 2024. The Blue Tigers had a poor AFC Asian Cup campaign in January and also failed to defeat Afghanistan in their last two qualifiers. They can’t afford to slip up anymore if they hope to get past the second round of qualifying and keep their 2026 World Cup dreams alive.

Stimac has to reinvigorate his side to feed off the energy of the 60,000+ crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium and be more clinical than they have been in recent matches. The players need to put their best feet forward and produce an efficient performance to Chhetri the memorable send-off he deserves.

A win can bring the confidence back into the India squad and help them gain some much-needed momentum. Another draw or loss, however, can mount more pressure on Stimac’s job as the head coach.


Kuwait were stunned by India in their yard in the first match of the qualifiers. They haven’t forgotten about it and will be gunning for revenge this time around. The Blue Wave have a nicely balanced squad that has quite a few experienced players and a bunch of talented young players too. They will look to produce a significantly better performance than they did in the reverse fixture.

Kuwait are also pushing for a place in the third round of qualifying and realize how important defeating India can be. It can not only get them out of the last position in Group A but also place them in pole position for getting past the second round knowing that India faces Qatar afterwards. However, another defeat to India will end the Blue Wave’s ambitions of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

Injury & Team News

Mehtab Singh had departed from the India squad for personal reasons but has rejoined them and should be in contention for this. Kuwait also have a fully fit 26-man squad for their trip to the Salt Lake Stadium.


Matched Played – 6

India wins – 2

Kuwait wins – 3

Draws – 1

Predicted Lineups

India (4-2-3-1)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Nikhil Poojary, Subhasish Bose, Anwar Ali, Jay Gupta; Jeakson Singh, Anirudh Thapa; Naorem Mahesh Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte; Sunil Chhetri

Kuwait (4-1-4-1)

Sulaiman Abdulghafour (GK); Rashed Al-Dosary, Khalid El Ebrahim, Hassan Al-Enezi, Salman Bormeya; Eid Al-Rasheedi; Hamad Al-Harbi, Faisal Zayed, Azbi Shehab, Mohammad Daham; Yousef Nasser

Also Read: Three keys to success for India against Kuwait in 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Players to Watch

Sunil Chhetri (India)

India vs Kuwait Preview, predicted lineup, injury news, H2H, telecast | 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Sunil Chhetri has scored 94 international goals so far in his career

As surreal as it feels, Sunil Chhetri will be gracing Indian football fans for his final match in a Blue Tigers shirt against Kuwait. In what will be his 151st appearance for India and 19 years after he made his debut in 2005, Chhetri is determined to go out on a high.

The 39-year-old forward has already scored a record-setting 94 goals for India and will look to end his career on 95 goals and more. Despite his age, Chhetri’s experience factor can make him a menacing threat to the Kuwait backline.

He’ll look to time his movement to perfection by getting himself into the threatening pockets of spaces in the box and finish off chances. Chhetri will also look to drop deep whenever he can to send his fellow wingers through on goal and destabilize the Kuwait defense with his runs. The 39-year-old will put in his all in his final international match and fight hard to ensure India gets three important points.

Also Read: List of countries Sunil Chhetri scored against

Mohammad Daham (Kuwait)

Mohammad Daham has proven to be the Kuwait side’s breakout star from their jittery World Cup qualifiers campaign, producing several bright performances. The Kuwait SC star featured heavily for them in the 2023-24 AFC Cup, scoring once in five appearances. He has also scored three goals and provided four assists in 11 appearances for the Blue Wave, which includes a goal in the recent 2-1 loss to Qatar in the World Cup qualifiers.

Daham is blessed with impressive pace and close control, that allows him to skip past players with ease and get into dangerous areas. He’ll look to torment the right side of India’s backline and be a menacing figure on the counter-attacks with his dangerous runs. Daham will look to continue his goal-scoring heroics for the Blue Wave by getting into more decisive positions and will need to finish them off clinically for Kuwait to have a chance of ruining India’s night.

Did you know?

  • India are unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions against Kuwait, having won two of them too.
  • The last time Kuwait defeated India at their yard was in 2010 in the form of a 9-1 drubbing ahead of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.
  • Sunil Chhetri has scored against 33 different national teams in his international career, including one goal in three appearances against Kuwait.

Telecast Details

The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier clash between India and Kuwait will take place at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on June 6. It will kick off at 7 PM IST. Sports 18 will be broadcasting the match, and it can also be watched for free online on Jio Cinema and Jio TV.

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