Guam – 174
India – 141
Guam are placed 174 in the current FIFA rankings which leaves them 33 places below India. In the Asian confederation, Guam are placed 36th while India are 22nd in the continent.
This is Guam’s second World Cup Qualification. In the first one held way back in 2000, they lost 16-0 to Tajikistan and 19-0 to Iran. India will be favorites going into the game, but the Guam players have played together in the national team for a much longer period than their Indian counterparts, and hence have an advantage due to their experience.
Guam - WLDLDW
India - WDLWDL
Prior to the last game, Guam were on a horrible run of form, having gone 4 games without a win. One of their games saw them get a hiding at the hands of North Korea, as they lost 5-1 at home. They have since improved their defense, and have worked hard to limit damage and have conceded only two goals in their last 4 matches.
India are still trying to find a style of play that suits their style. The I-League concluded on the 31th of May and the Indian players haven’t had proper rest before the qualifiers and time to understand each other’s playing style. Many of the players have been playing continuously since October 2014.
Guam: Won against Turkmenistan 1-0 (WCQ)
India: Lost to Oman 1-2 (WCQ)
Both teams played in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers with contrasting results. Guam, who played their first ever World Cup qualifier at home, ran out 1-0 winners against Turkmenistan.
India, on the other hand, lost at home to a very good Oman side 2-1. They need to ensure that they get a win against Guam to keep their World Cup dream alive
Head to Head record
|Teams||Played||Won||Lost||Draw||Goals Scored||Goals Conceded||Goal Difference|
India and Guam have faced each other just once before in history, in which the Blue Tigers came out 4-0 winners. Only two players who played in that team are in this year's squad. Chhetri scored 2 of the four goals the last time the two met. He has been in tremendous form, and has scored all the 3 goals in the qualifiers so far.
Guam have retained 8 players who started the game in the current squad as well. Having said that Guam have a big task ahead of them trying to cope with a very quick Indian attack
Predicted starting line-ups
A striker by profession, who plays as a midfielder for the national team, this 31-year-old has played his entire professional career in Guam. Cunliffe holds the record for most caps and the most goals scored for his country with 17 in 35 matches.
Cunliffe made his debut in the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup and now captains the side. As a senior member of the team, he will be instrumental if Guam are looking to get anything out of the game.
Even after the defeat to Oman, every Indian football fan had just one name on their lips, Sunil Chhetri. He scored an absolute blinder in the match against Oman, a goal even the likes of Messi would have been proud of.
He has scored 8 goals in his last 10 games and Guam need to come up with a plan to stop the 30-year-old, else he can run riot like he did in 2013.