Intercontinental Cup 2019: India vs Tajikistan | Match Preview, Predicted Line-ups and Live Streaming Details
The second edition of the Intercontinental Cup kicks off at Ahmedabad with hosts India facing Tajikistan on the 7th of July. The tournament will feature DPR Korea and Syria as the other two teams and will be played in a round-robin format. The final, scheduled on 18th July, will have the top two teams from the initial stage.
The tournament in the home country will be Igor Stimac's second assignment as the Indian coach. The King's Cup played in June, was a good lesson for the coach, finishing at the third position. Stimac has done a lot more work ahead of this tournament and is closer to the players. The names which deserved a national team call-up has been fairly rewarded by the 51-year old.
With the selection of a balanced squad, India will be aiming at retaining the trophy from the previous year. The Blue Tigers are currently 101 in FIFA rankings. A disciplined midfield and counter-attacks would be what the coach would demand throughout the tournament. India's other matches are against DPR Korea on 13 July and Syria on 16 July.
Tajikistan have had a very poor display at the international level recently. The team has seen numerous managers being sacked after failing to meet their objectives. The current coach Usmon Toshev has only taken charge of the side in two games. Along with this, the inexperience of players too has been a drawback for the Persian Lions. The absence of proven players at the striking end will be a challenge for Toshev in this tournament too. Tajikistan will be aiming at qualifying for the finals, which will be a tough task for the 120th ranked team in FIFA rankings. After India, the team will face Syria on 10 July and DPR Korea on 15 July.
India vs Tajikistan: Match Information
Date: 7 July 2019
Kickoff: 8:00 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Transtadia Arena, Ahmedabad
India vs Tajikistan: Team News
India announced a 25-man squad for the tournament very late, with Michael Soosairaj, Anwar Ali and Raynier Fernandes being notable omissions. Jobby Justin and Narender Gahlot are two new faces in the team. Anas Edathodika's return from retirement too is positive news for the Blue Tigers.
Tajikistan have landed in India with a bunch of young players. The 21-man squad lacks experience, which might become a hurdle while facing sides like India, DPR Korea, and Syria. Jahongir Ergashev, the 25-year old striker has been ruled out of the tournament.
India vs Tajikistan: Probable Lineups
India (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subhasish Bose, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Adil Khan, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Sahal Abdul Samad, Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri
Tajikistan (4-4-2): Rustam Yatimov, Tabrezi Davlatmir, Siyevush Asrorov, Akhtam Nazarov, Iskandar Jalilov, Muhammadjon Rakhimov, Ehson Panjshanbe, Parvizdzhon Abdulloyevich, Amirbek Juraboev, Komron Tursunov, Shakhrom Samiyev
India vs Tajikistan: Form Guide
India vs Tajikistan: Head-to-Head
India vs Tajikistan: Key Players
India will have serious duties assigned on the shoulders of Udanta Singh. The winger is a valuable asset to the team and can threaten any defense with his speed and sharpness. The Bengaluru FC player is expected to be seen running down the right flank and offering crosses into the box.
Anas Edathodika will be another crucial presence in the teamsheet. The Kerala defender's return from retirement will bolster the Indian backline.
Parvizdzhon Abdulloyevich will have to be dealt with care by the Indian defenders. The 24-year old plays as a midfielder and is more often the mastermind of most Tajikistan attacks. Parvidzhon has appeared in 19 international games and scored 6 goals. Pronay Halder will have the duty of marking the player in the defensive third.
India vs Tajikistan: Predictions
Tajikistan have been a troubled side at the international level recently. With a new coach and a set of young and inexperienced players, the team would find it difficult to excel the hosts. If Stimac can get his basic plans right, India will be opening the tournament with a win over Tajikistan.
Predicted Score - India 2:0 Tajikistan