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India have Home Advantage, UAE an edge

India Vs UAE

India Vs UAE

It’s Advantage India. They play at Home — at the Ambedkar Stadium, which is their “fortress.”

It’s Advantage UAE. They enjoy a three-goal cushion, which by Team India Coach Armando Colaco’s confession “is hard to overturn.”

Nevertheless, as Colaco pointed out, “India have little option but to go all out in the second-leg.” UAE won’t mind that. They would just be looking to catch India off-guard on the counter-attack as an away-goal will realistically seal the deal for them and ring exit-bells for India.

Colaco stays aware of that. “We need to attack but our defence needs to stay composed. At any stage, we can never afford to concede,” he added.

Team India have been hit hard by the suspensions of Debabrata Roy and Subrata Pal. “Rahim Nabi had a great game in the first-leg. Being an utility player, we will play him as the left-back. Clifford Miranda will start in the left-half position,” Colaco informed.

“Harmanjot Khabra and Sandip Nandy are the replacements for the two suspended players.”

“It’s a tough mountain to climb,” Colaco maintained. “They are a quality side. But we are ready for the challenge,” he said. Captain Climax Lawrence added: “Everything is possible in football.” The fans would take inspiration from Climax’s statement for sure.

UAE’s Slovenian Coach Srecko Katanec said they stay aware of “India’s style of play.”

“I am aware they would hit us hard in the first 15 minutes. But sustaining the same momentum is tough in modern football.”

With requests for tickers coming in from all quarters there would be no dearth of support for Team India in their “fortress.” Two sentiments unite the team at the moment: 1. This time it’s 11 vs 11. 2. Let’s win it for Subrata and Debabrata.

In the meantime, the recent downpour in the Capital prompts everyone to look upto the skies. Forecasts suggest the heavens may open up again on Thursday.

The kick-off is at 7pm.

India’s Starting XI: Karanjit Singh; Samir Naik, Gourmangi Singh, Raju Gaikwad, Rahim Nabi; Steven Dias, Mehtab Hossain, Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda; Sunil Chhetri & Jeje Lalpeklua.

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