The return of CK Vineeth will be the buzz of the town as the winger-forward hasn’t played a game in the last few months and was mysteriously dropped earlier.

11 players who represented India in the AFC U-23 Qualifiers in Doha have been named by National Coach Stephen Constantine in the preliminary squad of 28 for India’s forthcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Macau slated to be held in Bengaluru on October 11, 2017.

The squad will assemble in Mumbai on September 28 with practice scheduled to kick-off the next day.

India who have won all their three matches so far sit pretty on the top of Group A with 9 points from three matches and a win against Macau will seal a berth to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.


The National Team stay unbeaten in the last 11 matches out of which it has won 10 (including the un-official match against Bhutan), thus, in the process, creating an all-time Indian record of winning nine consecutive International matches (including the un-official match against Bhutan).

Constantine, however, isn’t much willing to read into India winning three matches on the trot. “Every match starts afresh. The results of our previous matches are all history and will have no bearing when we kick-off on October 11 at home against Macau,” he stated. “I am looking forward to start training with the boys and need to work hard to keep alive our chances of earning a ticket to the AFC Asian Cup 2019,” he added.

The list of 28 probables stay as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith.

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Lalruatthara, Nishu Kumar, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Narayan Das.

MIDFIELDERS: Jackichand Singh, Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Md. Rafique, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh, Halicharan Narzary.

FORWARDS: Balwant Singh, Allen Deory, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri, Hitesh Sharma, CK Vineeth.

In one of the most shocking developments in recent times, Constantine’s long-time favorite Robin Singh and his heir-apparent for several fans, Manvir Singh, failed to make the cut. This easily portrays that ball-playing strikers Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh will be expected to lead the side upfront at home against Macau.

Sunil Chhetri, expectedly, will lead the side out at his home stadium (Chhetri plies his trade for Bengaluru FC) and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, too, will continue his dominance under the bar. The rest of the team is set to choose itself, and U-23 players will hope to get into the fray in the last 15-20 minutes.