Team India is finally back in action since Nov 19, when India lost to Oman in the FIFA World Cup qualifier. However, Sunil Chhetri will not be there to inspire but a young Indian team will seek to play fearless football against a more fancied Oman in its first international match in more than a year in Dubai on Thursday.
Chhetri is not with the team for the two international friendlies here – the second one against the UAE on Saturday – as he is recovering from COVID-19. It will be a huge blow for the National Team. But Surely a chance for the Young guns to show their mettle on the International Stage.
Head coach Igor Stimac has said that the youngsters will be given ample chances to prove themselves and they should play free and fearless football. The side with an average age of just over 24 is raring to go in its first international match.
India VS Oman: Preview
Igor Stimac’s men will take to the field for the first time in 16 months as they prepare for their remaining FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June. The Indian team 27-member squad is a mixture of players who have been with the team earlier and new faces like A Mishra, Colaco, I Pandita, B Singh and Lalengmawia. The rookies would be especially eager to showcase their talent after making an impact in the ISL.
It is expected to be a tough match against Oman who has beaten India in both the legs of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in 2019. Oman is ranked 81st in the FIFA chart while India is at 104th.
The Reds could line-up in either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-2. The midfield is certainly their strength. It is a toss-up between Abdul A Al Muqbali and M Al Ghassani for the number nine slot but S Al Yahyaei might have to sacrifice his place for the return of the influential A Kano. Al-Mundhir Al-Alawi, Basil Al-Rawahi, Muhammad Ramadan, and Jumah Al-Habsi are not part of the squad due to injuries.
Igor Stimac will stick to The likes of A Singh, C Singh, R Borges, and L Chhangte have been the top Indian performers for their ISL teams and they will be propped up by experienced campaigners like Gurpreet, S Jhingan, and A Thapa. The team would be a mixture of both experience and charisma. The formation would be (4-2-3-1) according to Stimac’s statement.
India VS Oman: Predictions
India 2-1 Oman: The History might repeat itself and Oman could defeat the young and inexperienced Indian side.
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