AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers: Kyrgyz Republic vs India, Predicted Line-ups
India will travel to Bishkek to face the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday, for the penultimate group stage game in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
With both the teams having secured qualification for the showcase event in UAE next year, the pressure will be a notch lower than usual, as both the teams will look to play a good brand of football and not worry too much about the result.
Somethin that will be on their minds though, will be that finishing as the group leaders, means a relatively easy group or better seedings for the main tournament next year.
India is the group leader at the moment, but if Kyrgyz Republic manages to win the game by a three-goal margin, then they will topple India as the table toppers and claim the spot for themselves.
India is ranked 99 in the present FIFA world rankings and, a win can take them as high as 87 if other results go in their favour, something that will help them immensely in the draw for the Asian Cup. That should be the main motivation for Stephen Constantine and his boys to come back with all three points from the tie.
Kyrgyz Republic are a mysterious side and it is very difficult to predict how they will perform on a given day. At one moment, we see the 'White Falcons' struggling to beat a team like Macau(they eventually won 4-3) and on the other hand, they get past stronger opponents like Myanmar with ease (strolled past Myanmar 5-1).
They have had a rollercoaster ride under Aleksandr Krestinin, as they have seen their performance rise and fall and rise again.
A thing to keep in mind is that Kyrgyz Republic is on a 5-match winning streak and they last lost a game to India in Bangalore on 13th June 2017.
A positive factor for the 'White Falcons' will be the form of their leading goal scorer Anton Zemlianukhin, who had to be substituted during the reverse fixture in the 7th minute due to an injury, something which Krestinin mentioned as a big loss for his side.
Aleksandr Krestinin wouldn’t look to chop and change the side much after the big margin victory against Myanmar but, star striker Vitaliz Lux could make a claim to be included in the starting eleven after having a purple patch of form.
The main strength of this Kyrgyz side is their versatility. They can play in multiple formations and a lot of players can play in multiple positions.
Kyrgyz Republic predicted line up 4-3-3: Kashuba, Avazbek, Baymatov, Baktyiar, Sheratov, Aziz, S. Islam, Edgar, U. Kairat, Z. Anton, M. Mirlan
Zemlianukhin Anton: The highest goalscorer in the history of Kyrgyz football Anton, is the player Kyrgyz look for goals in crucial games. Anton already has 5 goals in the ongoing qualifying round despite missing two games. His runs down the flanks and the way he changes his positions is what will keep the Indian defence under pressure. If he is given time and space then he will surely make India pay for its mistakes.
India is in a rich vein of form and has not lost a game in ages. Stephen Constantine has a fixed bunch of players and he has stuck to his lot, despite already qualifying for the showpiece event.
India will be missing the service of their mercurial captain and star striker Sunil Chhetri, who is suspended for the tie after seeing two yellow cards in the previous games. India will also be without the likes of Eugenson Lyngdoh, Pritam Kotal, Seityasen Singh, and Jackichand Singh, who are either injured or couldn’t travel with the team due to visa issues.
Stephen has called up some young players for the tie and the likes of Seiminlen Doungel, Hitesh Sharma, and Subhasish Bose will look to make a mark if given a chance.
The absence of Sunil Chhetri also provides a golden opportunity for the likes of Balwant Singh to rise and shine and, impress the gaffer before the showpiece event in UAE.
Gurpreet is going to be leading the team out tomorrow.
India's predicted line up 4-4-2: Gurpreet, Salam, Anas, Sandesh, Jerry, Rowlin, Anirudh Thapa, Udanta, Halicharan, Jeje, Balwant.
Jeje Lalpekhlua: Jeje has another ISL winners medal dangling in his trophy cabinet after helping Chennaiyin FC defeat Bengaluru FC in the finals of the ISL in Bangalore.
Jeje finished as the second highest Indian goalscorer in the league behind Sunil Chhetri and is now the highest Indian goalscorer in ISL history. He has also had a terrific run of form for the national side and, will be the main point of attack tomorrow.
His physical presence in the final third will be vital for India as he has the unique ability to hold up play and get others involved.
Given that both the teams have confirmed their qualification spots, expect the players to play a safe game, and not concede early. The game could get cagey at times given how both the teams have a packed midfield. A 1-1 draw looks to be a fair result, given the circumstances.