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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Three youngsters who deserve a chance in Indian football team's FIFA WC qualifier against Kuwait

Published at :May 27, 2024 at 7:12 PM
Modified at :May 27, 2024 at 7:13 PM
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(Courtesy : AIFF)

Keshava Verma


The Blue Tigers will take on Kuwait on the 6th of June.

The Indian football team is all set to take on Kuwait in a do or die World Cup qualifier. The game holds immense importance for India in their quest for a maiden qualification into the third round of the FIFA World Cup Cup 2026 Asian Qualifiers.

India’s preparations for this fixture has been quite potent, as the Blue Tigers have been a part of a four-week preparatory camp in Bhubaneshwar, to ensure that the team approaches this high-stake game in the best possible manner. 

India’s fixture will be special for another important reason, as it will mark Sunil Chhetri’s final game with India, as the legend is all set to retire from international football after this clash. 

With all these narratives in place, India’s clash against Kuwait at the Salt Lake is a must win for the Blues, and Igor Stimac cannot afford anything less than a win to his name.

That being said, let us now take a look at three new faces, who deserve a chance to feature in the qualifier against Kuwait.

Jay Gupta

After an exceptional display in the 2023-24 ISL season, Jay Gupta has put himself in contention for a place in Igor Stimac’s starting line-up. Gupta played a total of 22 games in the ISL this season, and had two goals and two assists to his name. 

He made quite an impression for his extraordinary precision and shot power, and both his goals were absolute belters, including a late winner against Odisha FC at home.

Jay’s strong stature, combined with his ability to run into pockets of space with the ball, and attract players, can be utilitsed by Igor Stimac to make progress with the ball. 

Also, with the injury of Akash Mishra, it seems pretty imminent, that Jay Gupta will finally get his opportunity to don the colours of the national team.

Edmund Lalrindika

Three youngsters who deserve a chance in India's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kuwait Edmund Lalrindika
Edmund Lalrindika in training. (Courtesy: AIFF)

Inter Kashi’s Edmund Lalrindika had a sensational season in the I-League. The attacker had four goals to his name, combined with a total of eight assists.

Lalrindika’s ability to drop deep and facilitate in the build-up play is something that can add a lot of fluidity to Stimac’s attack, and the 25-year-old can also be a great outlet for creating opportunities in the final third. 

The midfielder has so far been quite impressive in the national team camp, and is showing a unique confidence in his style of play. “It’s his first senior national team camp but feels like he has been part of the team for years already. Not often do you see no nerves, full focus and such confidence oozing out of a first-timer,” wrote the AIFF Media team in a recent article on the rookie. 

Lalrindika’s inclusion in the squad can be an answer to the offensive problems Igor Stimac has been facing in the past few games, and the I-League sensation may well prove to be a difference-maker for the Blue Tigers if he gets to showcase his ability on the big stage. 

David Lalhlansanga

Three youngsters who deserve a chance in India's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kuwait David Lalhlansanga
David Lalhlansanga glancing a shot during training. (Courtesy: AIFF)

David Lalhlansanga is another young sensation, who is slowly climbing the ladder, and emerging as a positive figure in the quest for becoming Indian football’s next big thing. The 22-year-old got promoted with Mohammedan SC this season, and will be a part of the Indian top flight from the 2024-25 ISL season. 

David played a total of 22 games with the Black Panthers this season, and scored five goals and made two assists. The youngster also won the Durand Cup Golden Boot with six goals, including four in a single outing against Jamshedpur FC.

With treacherous speed, and high quality finishing, David ensures the sharpness and precision that one needs to score goals, and with his constant hard work, the forward might have a chance to make his mark in this massive fixture. 

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