India vs Nepal Preview: Sunil Chhetri to miss out the game


India to rest Sunil Chhetri, while Udanta and Vineeth will miss the game owing to injuries as host take on neighbours Nepal in an International Friendly tomorrow at Mumbai

As a part of preparations for their respective AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, India and Nepal face each other in an international friendly on Tuesday. After Lebanon opted out due to visa issues, AIFF brought in Nepal as an immediate replacement. Although there are huge difference in ranking between them, Nepal has always proven to be an able opponent for Indians.

India will miss the service of Sunil Chhetri as Coach Stephen Constantine doesn’t want to risk his star player ahead of an important game against Kyrgyz Republic in a week’s time for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Constantine added about India’s highest goal scorer, “Sunil is a very good player and has been for a long time. I hope he has many more years to give for India. I would like Chhetri to be leading the team in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019, if we qualify. The day he hangs his boots, it will be huge loss for Indian Football.”

India, who are already missing the service of Udanta Singh, will also miss CK Vineeth as the striker has picked up an injury to his ankle. Gurpreet Singh looks the likely option to lead the side while also defending the post, behind Sandesh Jhingan and Anas in central defence. Pritam Kotal will start on right while the left back option could be filled by either Nishu, Jerry or Narayan Das. Eugeneson Lyngdoh will man the midfield alongside Rowlin Borges with Jackichand and Bikash Jairu starting on the wings. Jeje and Robin Singh could start up top in the attack.

Also Read: Know your Opponents: Nepal, Players to watch out for

At the other end, Nepal Coach Koji Gyotoku has declared that they are not intimidated by India’s ranking and that they will go for the win. Nepal have dropped their experienced striker Anil Gurung but still have a horde of young talents in the striking department. 19 year old Bimal Magar and Nawayug Shrestha could start upfront; both the players are in form in the scoring department and could keep the Indian defence on toes. Biraj Maharjan will lead the side and the defence alongside Kamal Shrestha, Ananta Tamang and Aditya Chaudhary with Sujal Shrestha and Rohit Chandat at the heart of midfield.

India will look for an outright victory as anything less than a win will hurt them majorly in FIFA ranking points tally and while ranked 100th, a loss against a team 69 places below will only discourage the morale of team ahead of the Asian cup qualifiers. Although Nepal have failed to beat India in their last 5 attempts one can never write off the visitors.

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