With the Super Cup not taking centre stage until next weekend, a lot of you may be wondering what we’re going to yammer on about this weekend. Worry no more! India face the Kyrgyz Republic on the 27th of March in which promises to be an interesting game for a number of reasons. With Kyrgyzstan seeing off Myanmar on Thursday, it now means that both sides are qualified going into the game, so there’s nothing riding on it to the naked eye.
While qualification may not be on the table, there’s the little something called the ‘FIFA Rankings’ which are affected by games like this and India manager Stephen Constantine will only be too aware of that. Incidentally, if India lose by more than one goal, they’ll finish second; this doesn’t mean a lot in the grand scheme of things because they’ll still be in pot 3 for the draw, however, it does hinder their chances of moving up the FIFA Rankings once again, after breaking into the top 100 not too long ago.
Get Your Thermals Out
Earlier in the campaign when the two sides met, a Sunil Chhetri goal in the second half gave India a 1-0 win. Out of the two sides, India were far the more dominant, this time around though, they will not have their talismanic skipper to rely on. Chhetri sits out the trip to Bishkek after accumulating one too many yellow cards in the previous games so it will be down to Jeje to lead the line.
A temperature of roughly six degrees in the Kyrgyzstan capital awaits Constantine’s side and it’ll be interesting to see how they cope with the drop in heat. As discussed, there’s not a lot riding on this, so let’s stop dallying around and take a look at the squad. Now, this squad is the list of probables. It’s news to me as well, I’ve got no idea what it means. After looking into it, it seems that these thirty-two players take part in some sort of training camp then the successful ones make the trip. Without any further delay…
Subrata-Less Squad List
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet (Bengaluru), Vishal Kaith (Pune City), Amrinder (Mumbai City), Rehenesh TP (NorthEast United).
Defenders: Pritam Kotal (Delhi Dynamos), Nishu Kumar, Subhasish (Both Bengaluru), Lalruatthara, Sandesh Jhingan (Both Kerala Blasters), Anas Edathodika (Jamshedpur), Salam Ranjan (East Bengal), Sarthak Golui (Pune City), Jerry (Chennaiyin), Narayan Das (FC Goa).
Midfielders: Jackichand (Kerala Blasters), Udanta (Bengaluru), Seityasen (Delhi Dynamos), Dhanpal Ganesh, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet (All Chennaiyin), Rowlin Borges, Halichan Narzary (Both NorthEast United), Mohammed Rafique, Cavin Lobo (Both East Bengal), Bikash Jairu (Jamshedpur).
Forwards: Hitesh Sharma (ATK), Balwant (Mumbai), Jeje (Chennaiyin), Seminlen Doungel (NorthEast United), Alen Deory (Shillong Lajong), Manvir (FC Goa), Sumeet Passi (Jamshedpur).
Chocolate Dwarfed It
You’ll recall Subrata won the Golden Glove award ahead of Gurpreet after Chennaiyin beat Bengaluru in the final, so why he hasn’t been included in the squad is a mystery to me. Also, if the Super Cup doesn’t show it, this does; the amount of players from the ISL in comparison to the I-League is, well, a lot. You also probably feel that if any of the I-League representatives put a half-decent shift in, that an ISL side will snap them up in a heartbeat.
That’s all for now, not much else to say as there’s not much riding on it. I’ve well and truly ‘Chocolate Dwarfed’ this preview. Short and sweet.
Until the next time.