Igor Stimac’s side will be in action for the first time since June this year.

The ongoing international break will see the Indian national football team visit Vietnam to try and win more silverware after their recent heroics in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Even though it is a friendly tournament, the Hung Thinh tournament will provide Sunil Chhetri and Co. an opportunity to play against a formidable opponent in the form of Vietnam.

India will be keen to continue the form shown by them in Kolkata last June and win the tournament. India coach Igor Stimac seemed confident before leaving for Vietnam and told journalists that he believes that his side is capable of winning the title.

The Blue Tigers will be high on confidence for the tournament. They are on a three-match winning streak which saw them qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in style. The team management should thus see this tournament as a platform for preliminary preparation for the upcoming competition.

India will be playing their first match against Singapore on September 24 at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is expected to be an easy outing for the Indian side as Singapore are currently ranked 159. Hence, the team would be looking to make an excellent start to the tournament, especially after Vietnam’s win in their first game.

The Stakes

India

India would be eyeing to utilize the ongoing international break to the fullest by winning the Hung Thinh friendly tournament. According to Stimac, the team is in good shape. The tournament comes after the team’s commendable performance in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, and, hence, it would like to continue the momentum.

Barring a few players, the Indian side are traveling with almost a full-strength contingent. This shows the intent of the team which would be keen on having a good start by defeating Singapore in their first match. Importantly, winning the first game becomes a prerogative for India as tournament favourites Vietnam have already won against Singapore 4-0.

Therefore, in order to make a good start, the Indian players need to showcase on the pitch the confidence that the coach has publicly shown in them.

Singapore

After its bad start to the tournament in which it fielded seven players with less than 15 caps to their name, Singapore would be looking to make a comeback in its second game. The team needs to win the game to keep its title hopes alive. Hence, we can expect a full-strength side against India.

The core of the full-strength Singaporean side is very strong with certain regular starters. Many of these players are match-winners who can change the course of a game within no time. These players, with their eyes on silverware, would not like to repeat the mistakes of their first game.

India vs Singapore Team News

With the Singapore match being India’s first game, the side have not reported any injury concerns with all the players in the squad available for the match. However, doubts remain over Sandesh Jhingan and Chinglensana starting the game. Both players only left for Vietnam last night (September 22) after visa issues delayed their travel.

Singapore, which fielded a young side in its first game, also does not have any injury concerns. In their second match, expect Singapore to field a full-strength team.

India vs Singapore Head-to-Head

To date, India and Singapore have met 26 times across all competitions and friendlies. Among these, India have won 12 games, Singapore won 11, and three games ended in a draw.

India vs Singapore Probable Line-ups

India’s Predicted XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Naorem Roshan Singh, Anwar Ali, Sandesh Jhingan, Akash Mishra; Anirudh Thapa, Jeakson Singh; Lallianzuala Chhangte, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Sunil Chhetri (C),.

Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK); Irfan Fandi, Hariss Harun (C), Amirul Adli; Nazrul Nazari, Shahdan Sulaiman, Shah Shahiran, Adam Swandi, Sahil Suhaimi, Ikhsan Fandi, Taufik Suparno.

India vs Singapore Players to Watch

Sunil Chhetri (India)

Whenever the Indian national team is playing, all of the country’s expectations are on the country’s talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri. At this moment, nothing more needs to be said about what the country wants from him. Being the highest scorer for India and the third-highest among active footballers, the primary responsibility of leading the Indian attack would lie upon Chhetri.

He was in scintillating form in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and scored four goals. He was in good form in the recently concluded Durand Cup as well. Thus, Chhetri would like to continue with his good form and show us more magic in the upcoming tournament.

Ikhsan Fandi (Singapore)

The biggest attacking threat of Singapore is their number #9 Ikhsan Fandi. He scored a hat-trick in the match prior to this tournament, where Singapore defeated Myanmar 6-2. He currently plays for BG Pathum United in Thailand’s top flight. Fandi is in great form this season with two goals and one assist for his club in four matches.

For Singapore, Fandi has played 31 games and scored 16 times. He is a clinical, efficient, and highly-skilled striker whose instinctive goal-scoring prowess makes him a great threat. Just like Chhetri, he would be primarily responsible to test the opposition’s defence. After missing out in the first game, he would be keen to make his mark against India and keep their title hopes alive.

Did You Know?

  • The current FIFA ranking of India is 104, while it is 159 for Singapore.
  • India and Singapore last played on 16 October 2012, almost 10 years ago.
  • India last visited Vietnam in 2004 to play the LG Cup.

Telecast

The match between India and Singapore will be played at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 24th September, 2022 with a kick-off time of 5:30 pm IST. The match will be live telecast in India on Eurosport.

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