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India look to continue good form in Champions Cup

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The 3-nation invitational tournament will be played in Mumbai starting next week...

India begin their campaign against Mauritius on August 19 at the Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai in the Hero Tri-nation series. India will play their second match against St. Kitts & Nevis on August 24.

The Tri-nation Football series is part of the national team’s preparatory process for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying away match against Macau which is scheduled for September 5.

Also read AIFF shifts Champions Cup to Mumbai

Thanking WIFA and MDFA for their cooperation, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said the “sporting culture” of Mumbai makes it stand out amongst others.

“We are overwhelmed by the eagerness of the authorities in Mumbai to host the three International matches in Mumbai. Mumbai has been the venue for the National Team since September 2016 when we hosted Puerto Rico,” he stated.

India are currently ranked 97 as per August 2017 FIFA Rankings. Indian Football and the National Team have been on the upsurge with a string of good results leading to a climb of 77 places in FIFA Rankings over the last two years. The Team has now won 13 of their 15 International matches having won their last 8 fixtures (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

 Fixtures:

 August 19: India vs Mauritius

August 22: St Kitts & Nevis vs Mauritius

August 24: India vs St. Kitts & Nevis

The list of probables' stays as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Subrata PaulGurpreet Singh SandhuAlbino Gomes, Vishal Kaith, TP Rehenesh

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Arnab Mondal, Anas Edathodika, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Lalruatthara, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Davinder Singh

MIDFIELDERS: Dhanapal Ganesh, Jackichand SinghSeityasen Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Bikash Jairu, Milan Singh, Udanta Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Md. Rafique, Rowllin Borges, Halicharan Narzary, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa

FORWARDS: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Sunil ChhetriRobin SinghBalwant SinghManvir Singh

ANALYSIS

The National team looks set to repeat its 4-1-3-2 formation going into the AFC Cup qualifier against Macau. The return of Udanta Singh is set to give Stephen Constantine some breath of raw speed on the right wing and Sunil Chhetri's return to prime fitness also holds well for the Blue Tigers. 

Also Read: CK Vineeth and Amrinder Singh left out as Stephen Constantine calls 34 players to National camp

Pronay Halder's delayed return will see Rowlin Borges being the No. 1 screener sitting over the defensive side. After a few brilliant outings in AFC U-23 Championships in Qatar, Anirudh Thapa and Germanpreet Singh will expect to get a few minutes with the National team. Jeje Lalpekhlua and comeback man Balwant Singh will be expected to lead the line, but it depends on the training and physical fitness of the Punjab lad.

The defence is set to remain the same with Anas and Jhingan manning the central line and Kotal and Narayan Das providing covers at the wings. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will easily walk second in the lineup. Amrinder Singh, Indian football's costliest goalkeeper in the Indian Super League, has been left out. CK Vineeth is also one of the big names to be left out. 

Published: Thu Aug 10, 2017 07:47 PM IST

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