2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: India vs Oman | Match Preview, Predicted Lineups and Live Streaming Details
The Indian national football team returns to action as part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier game against Oman at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. The much-awaited clash is India's first fixture in the qualification round which will be followed by an away game against Qatar on the 10th of this month.
The Blue Tigers will be determined to rewrite history this time. Under Igor Stimac, the team has displayed great potential with deserving names earning places in the national camp. The Croatian manager has guided the team in five games of which he lost three and tied one encounter.
The only victory came against Thailand in the Kings Cup in June. However, keeping aside the results, Stimac has impressed in his short period. Most of the players in the squad were given field time in both major competitions, namely the Kings Cup and Intercontinental Cup. The 51-year old was confident to experiment with his lineup, which led to negative results more than once.
Facing Oman would be a crucial and complicated task for India. Oman and India are in Group E along with Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Blue Tigers might have an easier competition against Bangladesh and Afghanistan, two teams which are lower in rankings.
Qatar, the Asian champions, would be the most challenging opponent in the group. In such a case, collecting points against Oman will be necessary for India to finish among the four best runners-up across all groups.
India last faced Oman in a friendly fixture ahead of the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year. Though India held Oman to a goalless draw, both the teams have now altered tactics under new coaches.
The Oman squad has arrived at Guwahati and will be hoping to return with a win under the belt. Playing before the Blue Pilgrims will be the only major obstacle for the visitors but what is interesting to note is that the team has won all three matches played under the new Dutch manager Erwin Koeman.
The friendly game against Yemen on 28th August has helped them rejuvenate after the break and Oman will be expected to play their natural midfield-centred game with a physical advantage.
India vs Oman: Match Information
Date: 5th September 2019
Kickoff: 7:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
India vs Oman: Team News
India would be badly affected by the absence of young midfielder Amarjit Singh Kiyam. The 18-year old was the only player who had featured in all five matches after Stimac's appointment. The solid support before defence would be missed along with Amarjit.
The Croatian manager should stick to his best XI to put up a strong fight against the Reds. Anas Edathodika might return to the lineup and combine with Sandesh Jhingan in defence. Anirudh Thapa and Sahal Abdul are expected to form a vital combination in the midfield. Ashique Kuruniyan might return to bolster the attack along with Sunil Chhetri.
Faiz Al-Rushaidi will be a strong presence under the bars for Oman. Saad Al-Mukhaini's experience on the left wing will be a challenge for India's young wingers. The midfield will revolve around Ahmed Mubarak and Ibrahim Saleh moving box-to-box. Mohammed Al-Ghassini will be at the striking end against Jhingan & Co.
India vs Oman: Probable Lineups
India (4-4-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Adil Khan, Udanta Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri.
Oman (4-2-3-1): Faiz Al-Rushaidi, Saad Al-Mukhaini, Mohammed Al-Musalami, Mohammed Al-Balushi, Ali Al-Busaidi, Ahmed Mubarak, Ibrahim Saleh, Yaseen Al-Sheyadi, Jameel Al-Yahmadi, Mataz Saleh, Mohammed Al-Ghassini
India vs Oman: Form Guide
India vs Oman: Head-to-Head
India vs Oman: Key Players
As always India will have its sharpest weapon, Sunil Chhetri, at the helm of attack. The Bengaluru FC player will start at the striker position and carry all of India's hopes in the crucial game. Chhetri's experience will be a fulcrum in overcoming Oman's strong defence. He will have to be supported by Sahal Abdul Samad from the midfield and the Kerala-born player is expected to continue finding space in the opposition midfield.
Ahmed Mubarak is Oman's most capped player with 170 international matches. The 34-year old will have a pivotal position in Oman's midfield. Mubarak can win possession and develop attacks from the defensive third. If left freely, the Al-Markhiya player will use his vision to open up chances for the Reds.
India vs Oman: Predictions
Oman is without a doubt a tough opponent for Igor Stimac's side. The team is in good form and will be a threat to the Indian team, still settling under the manager. A flawless defence and midfield will grab India some good chances on the field. However, Oman still enjoys the upper hand on paper.
Predicted Score - India 0:1 Oman