Intercontinental Cup 2018: India vs New Zealand Probable XI
India will take on New Zealand in their final group stage game of the 2018 Intercontinental Cup. While India is virtually through to the final, New Zealand still have a lot to do in order to join them.
The Blue Tigers have been the standout performers in the competition so far. They thrashed Chinese Taipei by scoring five goals against them, before defeating Kenya 3-0. The Indian team is yet to concede a goal in the Intercontinental Cup as players in all parts of the pitch have been in sublime form.
Skipper Sunil Chhetri is leading the goalscoring charts with five goals in his two games. Jeje, Udanta, and Pranoy Halder have also chipped in by netting a goal each in the competition.
Heading into their final group game, here is how India and New Zealand are expected to line-up:
Stephen Constantine is not known to rotate very often. However, he might do so for the final group game as the Blue Tigers are effectively through to the finals.
Sandesh Jhingan, who was the 'hero of the match' in India's win against Kenya is expected to sit out, due to a knock. Instead, Constantine might shift Subashish Bose to the Center-back position and play Jerry Lalrinzuala as the left full-back.
Halder and Thapa have been in great form in the competition, forming an impressive double pivot, and they are expected to start yet again.
Ashique Kuruniyan might get a chance to impress Constantine, in place of Narzary. Jeje, Chhetri, and Udanta are expected to reprise their respective roles. Meanwhile, Jeje too reaches a milestone as he will be making his 50th appearance for the Blue Tigers if he starts.
India (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh; Lalrinzuala, Bose, Anas, Pritam Kotal; Halder, Thapa; Kuruniyan, Chhetri (C), Udanta; Jeje Lalpekhlua
The All Whites need to match Kenya's result, in order to make it through to the final. However, they face a tough task in the form of India who have been bulldozing their way past their opponents in the Intercontinental Cup.
New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid said that he is wary of the threat posed by India, and has asked his players to bring out their very best.
Despite a defeat in their opening game against Kenya, New Zealand bounced back by beating Chinese Taipei 1-0 to move to the second spot. They currently stand ahead of Kenya on goal difference. The All Whites are expected to line-up exactly as they did against Chinese Taipei and will rely on Bevan and Singh to provide them the much-needed goals.
New Zealand (4-4-2): Nik Tzanev (GK); Gulley, Boxall, Doyle (C), Cacace; Cameron, Hudson-Wihongi, Howieson, Wingham; Singh, Bevan
India 2-2 New Zealand; Although India has been in great form throughout the competition, New Zealand's desperation might make things difficult as they will also be coming into this game full of confidence, on the back of a win. The All Whites need to match or better Kenya's result in order to make it through to the final and will provide a tough competition.