Indian Football: Head coach Igor Stimac announces probable 34 for the World Cup qualifiers' training camp
Indian national football team head coach Igor Stimac has announced a probable 34-man contingent for the training camp prior to India’s 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Qatar. The ‘Blue Tigers’ have been clubbed with gulf nation Oman, neighbours Afghanistan, and Bangladesh along with 2019 AFC Asian Cup winners in Group E of the qualifiers.
Star striker Sunil Chhetri will once again lead from the front, with Balwant Singh as his deputy. Youngsters Jobby Justin, Manvir Singh and Farukh Choudhary have also been called up. Midfield sensation Sahal Abdul Samad has been summoned with regulars like Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa and Raynier Fernandes. Ashique Kuruniyan, Pronay Halder and Brandon Fernandes also make the cut.
After making his debut in the Intercontinental Cup, stopper Narender Gehlot will get another opportunity to prove himself. Among the custodians, Kamaljit Singh and Vishal Kaith have been included apart from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Amrinder Singh.
The probable 34 for the World Cup qualifiers:
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Vishal Kaith
DEFENDERS: Rahul Bheke, Nishu Kumar, Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali (Jr.), Narender Gahlot, Sarthak Golui, Adil Khan, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhasish Bose, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Mandar Rao Dessai
MIDFIELDERS: Nikhil Poojary, Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Raynier Fernandes, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul Samad, Amarjit Singh, Pronay Halder, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Halicharan Narzary, Ashique Kuruniyan
FORWARDS: Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Jobby Justin, Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh
India will kick-start their campaign against Oman at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on September 4. India’s record against Oman in the past has not been favourable, having lost four, drawn thrice and won on just one occasion. The last meeting between these two nations was back in December 2018, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
On September 10, Igor Stimac’s men will travel west to play their toughest match in the qualifiers against Asian champions Qatar.