International Friendly: India vs Nepal - Statistical Preview
As a buildup for their World Cup Qualifier against Iran on the 8th of September, India will play neighbours Nepal in an international friendly in Pune on the 31st of August 2015. This is Nepal’s first international match after the Nation was hit by a devastating earthquake in April 2015 that claimed the lives of over 9,000 people and injuring a further 23,000.
Interestingly the last time Nepal played an international match was against India when the two teams were fighting for a place in the World Cup Qualifiers. India drew that game 0-0 but went on to win the tie 2-0 and qualify.
Here are all the important numbers ahead of the game –
Nepal were ranked 180th in the world before the natural disaster but the lack of football means they have dropped further down in the rankings to 184th according to the latest FIFA rankings. Nepal has had a change in management as Patrick Aussems replaced American Jack Stefanowski in May. This will Aussems’ first match in charge for the Nepal team.
India are ranked 156th according to the latest FIFA rankings, dropping 15 places since they played last time. There is another connection between the teams as current Indian manager, Stephen Constantine managed The Gorkhalis from 1999-01. In the buildup to the match, he was quoted saying, “I have fond memories of the lovely Himalayan Kingdom and I share the pain of the people. Nepal will always remain close to my heart.”
Nepal are in a wretched run of form that has seen them lose seven out of their last eight games and have failed to score a goal in their last six matches. However, with emotions running high in the match, one can expect the team to forget about form and outperform themselves.
Constantine, on the other hand, had a great start to his second tenure with India helping the team qualify for the World Cup Qualifier group stage. However, India have suffered two consecutive defeats in the Qualifiers, with the second one being a humiliating 2-1 loss to a lowly ranked Guam.
Nepal: Drew 0-0 against India
India: Lost 1-2 to Guam
Nepal’s last game was way back on the 17th of March against India where they needed to win by two goals to qualify for the next round, but India were happy to play out a goalless draw they needed.
India’s last match was against Guam in the second match of their World Cup Qualifiers. In the fiasco that it was for the National team, India lost the game 2-1. The performance of the team was shambolic and India would be raring to go to put in a good performance ahead of their Qualifier against Iran.
|Teams||Played||Won||Lost||Draw||Goals Scored||Goals Conceded||Goal Difference|
India have a great record against their neighbours winning almost 69% of the games between the two nations. The biggest win for India has been 4-0 while the most convincing win that Nepal have come up with has been 3-0.
The Gorkhalis haven’t beaten India in the last three occasions the two countries have met failing to score in any of them.
Predicted starting line-up
India’s wonder kid hasn’t played a single game for the National side, but that would not deter him from leaving his mark on the game. The youngster took the Indian Super League by storm with his scintillating performances last year and earned himself a loan deal with Brazillian first division club Atletico Paranaense.
He wasn’t a part of the previous two games because Constantine felt the Romeo did not get enough game time in Brazil and believed he lacked match fitness. The youngster, whether from the start or from the bench, will definitely provide fireworks in the match.
The captain of the squad will be the most important player for Nepal as he would have to deal with the Sunil Chhetri, who has scored 9 goals in the last 11 matches for his country. Chhetri also has the opportunity to become the highest scorer in this fixture having scored three goals previously.
The 31-year-old was having an excellent season with his club side Three Star, before the natural disaster, conceding just two goals in six matches before the league was suspended. Thapa, who has already accumulated 50 caps for his country making him the third highest capped player for Nepal, will have to be on top of his game if Nepal want a positive result.