All eyes will be on the following three contests that could decide the flow of the game.
India will be in action after more than an year when they face Oman in an international friendly on 25 March 2021. The match will be played in Dubai and is an eagerly awaited affair by the fans of the Blue Tigers.
Seeing Igor Stimac’s men play again after a year will definitely be a sight to behold. After Oman, they will face UAE on March 29. These games will also help some of the players stamp their authority for a regular place in the national team.
It goes without saying that the contest against Oman will be a tough one. It is hard to anticipate as to what level of game both sides might bring on the day. However, some individual battles, as listed below, will definitely play a huge role in the outcome of the friendly fixture.
3. Abdul Aziz Al-Muqbali Vs Sandesh Jhingan
Abdul Aziz Al-Muqbali is the pick of Oman’s attackers. The striker loves to use his physicality and intimidate defenders. A part of Oman’s two-man attacking setup, Al-Muqbali can play as a target man and use his hold-up play to good effect.
The task of keeping him quiet will fall heavily on Sandesh Jhingan’s shoulders. The centre-back had a solid season with ATK Mohun Bagan, reaching the final of the Indian Super League (ISL). He has been lucky with injuries and seems to be getting into top form. A mouthwatering clash between the two awaits fans.
2. Pritam Kotal Vs Al-Mandhar Al Alawi
Pritam Kotal was Sandesh Jhingan’s teammate at the Mariners and unsurprisingly they had a strong defensive record. The seasoned right-back will, however, need to pull up his socks coming up against Oman’s dangerous winger Al-Mandahar Al Alawi.
The winger is a lethal operator down the left flank and can hurt any opposition if left unchecked. He has scored four goals in five games for the Oman national team, including a brace against India back in September 2019. This battle between the two will play a huge role in their respective team’s performance.
1. Manvir Singh Vs Juma Al Habsi
Manvir Singh is yet another ATK Mohun Bagan player who will shoulder a large chunk of responsibility. The forward had an impressive season in the ISL with the Mariners, scoring six goals and providing three assists. In Sunil Chhetri’s absence, Manvir will most likely lead the line for Igor Stimac.
He will come up against Oman’s center-back Juma Al-Habsi. The 25-year-old defender has shown a lot of promise in recent performances. He also featured in Oman’s recent match against Jordan which ended in a goalless draw. This battle between two impressive young players cannot be undestimated. The two in-form players will go head-to-head and fight to hand their respective teams the grip on the proceedings.