India vs China international friendly: India Team, Predicted Playing XI and Starting XI vs China
Update: India XI vs China: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Narayan Das, Subhasish Bose, Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal; Pronay Halder Anirudh Thapa; Halicharan Narzary, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh; Jeje Lalpekhlua
The Indian national football team will know where it stands in the continent when it takes on China in an international friendly at 5.05 pm IST on Saturday, October 13, at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
India have qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, to be held in the UAE in January, and the friendly against China will provide India coach, Stephen Constantine with a chance to experiment with his squad.
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Constantine knows it's not going to be easy for India against China, given that the country has never recorded a win over the Red Dragons in 17 matches. Twelve of those games have ended in defeats for India and Constantine will hope to at least walk away with a draw against China.
"China are obviously a good side, they play some good football, they like to play possession football but they also like to press high. So, it's going to be a difficult game for us, but these are the games that we have to play under pressure,” the English coach said ahead of the game.
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India Team News
Defender Sandesh Jhingan was named the India captain by Constantine instead of Sunil Chhetri. Striker Balwant Singh did not travel with the squad as he could not obtain a visa. Apparently, Balwant's passport expires in less than six months, which explains why he was unable to procure a visa for travelling to China.
No player in the 22-man travelling contingent is carrying an injury.
How will India line up against China?
Constantine is expected to stick to his working 4-4-2 formation against the Red Dragons. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will take his position between the posts and the back-four is expected to be Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika and Subhasish Bose. Even though Bose is not really enjoying the best of form, the coach could persist with the Mumbai City FC player over the experienced Narayan Das.
Udanta Singh and Halicharan Narzary will take their positions at the right and left flanks respectively for India. Rowllin Borges, who scored the winner for NorthEast United FC over 10-man ATK in the Indian Super League (ISL) recently, will man the midfield along with Pronay Halder. It will be exciting to see if Constantine picks Chennaiyin FC youngster Anirudh Thapa over Halder.
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Up front, India's all-time top scorer Sunil Chhetri will line up along with Jeje Lalpekhlua, the Chennaiyin FC stalwart.
India XI and formation
Note: This article will be updated with the confirmed lineups when they are announced.