India will cross swords with Bahrain on 14th January at 9:30 p.m. IST at the Al-Sharjah Stadium in their third and final group stage match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. On paper, this should be an easy outing for the Blue Tigers as they are ranked 16 places ahead of them in the FIFA rankings.
Furthermore, Bahrain are yet to win a single match in the continental extravaganza, drawing 1-1 against UAE, and losing 1-0 to Thailand. That being said, they were leading against the hosts until the 88th minute and, Chanathip Songkrasin's sublime finish bereft them of a point against the War Elephants.
Against UAE, India created a plethora of chances but Khalid Eisa and Ali Mabkhout's individual brilliance separated the two sides. If these five Bahraini players click, India might finish second best and get knocked out of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
#5 Komail Hasan Alaswad
Komail Hasan Alaswad is one of Bahrain's pivotal players who can play both as a midfielder in the centre of the pitch and as a feeder to the striker Mohammed Al-Romaihi. Against UAE, the 24-year-old was quick enough to lodge counter attacks with his blistering pace and, in the 44th minute, his free-kick from the edge of the box dipped slightly late to hit the roof of the net.
However, the Al-Riffa Sports Club player had an off day in the encounter against Thailand. He played a line back, allowing Sayed Saeed, Mohamed Marhoon, Mohamed Al Romaihi, and Ali Jaafar Madan to play up front. Komail wasn't defensively astute enough to stop the War Elephants' attacks from the centre and wasn't consistent with his passing either.
If Bahrain's coach Miroslav Soukup frees him off defensive duties, Komail Hasan Alaswad can be a major threat against India.