India vs China: 5 youngsters from SAFF Cup squad who could make India's playing XI
The day is almost upon us. The Indian national football team will be squaring off with China in China, for the first time in history. The Blue Tigers do not have a record which they will be proud of as they have not managed to defeat the Peoples Republic of China even once in their history of 17 matches. The Red Dragons have been the victors on 12 occasions while 5 of the games ended in a stalemate. If this trend would change, only time will tell.
While a full-fledged Indian team was fielded during the Intercontinental Cup which India hosted and won, a relatively young and inexperienced squad, without names like Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, was sent to play in the 2018 SAFF Championship in Bangladesh. There were some standout individual performers which helped the Indian team reach the final of SAFF, which the Blue Tigers eventually lost to Maldives.
In this article, we take a look at the 5 players, that represented the nation at SAFF, who may also get a cap during the upcoming International friendly match against China.
#1 Subhasish Bose
The 23-year-old led the Indian team to the final of the SAFF Championship. As a captain, Bose was always vocal on the pitch and motivated his players. The young left-back has plenty of experience in his kitty and was a regular starter for clubs such as Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC. He can currently be seen plying his trade with Mumbai City in ISL.
Even though there is Narayan Das in the Indian squad named for the friendly against China, it is likely that Subhashish will get a start owing to his good form. The left-back really gives his all on the field.
Although he likes going forward and can be seen making runs on the left flank, he is the first one to track back as well. The 23-year-old is also good in the air and can be crucial when India are defending set pieces.
#2 Anirudh Thapa
20-year-old Anirudh Thapa is expected to be at the heart of midfield and act as a pivot for the Indian team along with Rowllin Borges. He is a part of the defending champions Chennaiyin FC in the ISL and a regular starter for them.
The Dehradun-born player was made the captain in the group stage match against the Maldives at the 2018 SAFF Championship. He took to the role really well and ensured a 2-0 win for India. Thapa was always instrumental in creating chances and had a few assists to his name during 2018 SAFF.
His ability to take setpieces will only help the Blue Tigers against China. Anirudh has already become a key figure for Chennaiyin and will look to make a mark in the match against the Red Dragons to secure his place in the national team.