2018 SAFF Suzuki Cup: India vs Sri Lanka probable XI
A young and jubilant Indian side, fresh off their exploits in Australia will begin their title defence against close neighbour Sri Lanka in the first match of group B, of the SAFF Suzuki Cup.
Both the sides will be eyeing a flying start courtesy a victory in their first game at Bangabandhu National Stadium, in Bangladesh on Wednesday at 6.30pm.
The fresh Indian side captained by Subhasish Bose, the sturdy defender, has only one player over the age of 23 in the 20 man squad in form of Sumeet Passi and can boast of an effective camp in Australia where they faced Sydney FC, Rydalmere Lions FC and APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
India who is ranked 96th in the latest FIFA rankings has an overwhelming record against their fellow competitors; having won 15 of their 22 duals. As far as the memories trackback, the last eyebrow-raising upset that the islanders caused over India was way back in 1995 SAFF Championship in the final.
However, coach Stephen Constantine wouldn’t want to take the Lankans for granted as he was in charge of the Indian team in 2003 which saw a spirited Sri Lankan team hold them to a 1-1 draw at the same competitions.
He already has a U-23 squad at his behold and might not get too experimental in the opening game.
Probable Starting XI for India
Sumeet Passi who has been in the good goalscoring form off late is expected to lead the attack in a 4-4-2 formation.
Manvir Singh will take his place as the other forward with Farukh Choudhury raring to get a go after the break. Anirudh Thapa will be an automatic choice in the centre of the midfield flanked by Vinit Rai from behind.
Lallianzuala Chhangte and Md. Ashique Kuruniyans will be expected to mobilise the left flank in turns with Nikhil Poojari being the go-to man for the right one, and pour in chances for the two forwards and Thapa in the final third.
Jerry Lalrinzuala will be the hot favourite to take up the left back position with Davinder Singh tipped to start in the right-back role. Captain Subhasish Bose might have the responsibility of a centre back along with young Salam Ranjan Singh or Sarthak Golui. Sarthak’s teammate in FC Pune City, Vishal Keith might start as the number one custodian over his stallion teammate, Kamaljit Singh.
Modified 05 Sep 2018, 17:42 IST