Struggling India hoping to stop the rot away to much fancied Oman

The signs are ominous for the Indian Football team as they face a strong Oman side in Muscat’s Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex stadium later today in the 2018 FIFA World Cup & 2019 AFC Asian Joint Qualifier. India have lost all four of their qualifying games which included a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their hosts today back home in Benagaluru.

The defeat to Oman was followed by a more demoralizing defeat away to minnows Guam before losses to Iran and the most recent one to Turkmenistan have mightily compounded Stephan Constantine’s woes. Although India were not too far from claiming a point against Oman in the reverse fixture, with the referee controversially ruling out Robin Singh’s goal, Oman were by far the better team on the day and deserved the win.

The English coach tinkered with his team in the last game against Turkmenistan as he brought back Sehnaj Singh in the midfield and played Eugenson Lyngdoh and Francis Fernandes alongside him. The middle of the park has been Constantine’s worries all throughout the campaign and he is still struggling to identify the right players to play in the midfield. It will be interesting to see what combination Constantine goes for the Oman game.

The back four of Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Arnab Mondal and Narayan Das who impressed against Iran started the game against Turkmenistan, but performances of both the full backs came under question after the game. So Constantine may decide to make changes in the full back areas as the centre back pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Arnab Mondal are expected to retain their places.

Sunil Chhetri and Jeje too are expected to continue in their respective roles, but it will be interesting to see if Constantine gives another chance to under fire Robin Singh. The Bengaluru FC striker has come under a lot of criticism for his performances.

Eugenson Lyngdoh too could retain his place in the line-up despite a series of inept performances in midfield while Rowlin Borges who impressed against iran could come in place of Sehnaj Singh in midfield. Francis Fernandes who had a good game against Turkmenistan could continue with his role on the left side.

It will be another daunting task for the Indians to take anything from the game, playing away to a far superior side, but a positive result against a team of Oman’s quality might just be the spring board that this India team need to end this disastrous run of form.

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