FIFA WCQ 2022 are getting intense as India is going to take on neighbours Bangladesh on Monday. Bangladesh drawing against Afghanistan in the last match made matters more complicated than before.
India is currently standing in 103rd position in FIFA global rankings whereas Bangladesh miles apart, standing currently in 184th position. Though, recent encounters between these neighbouring nations proves that rankings hardly have any say in on-field performances.
A win on Monday will send India to the 3rd place in the group. Moreover, Indian fans will have a keen eye on the match between Oman and Afghanistan later this week. As we are getting closer to this highly-anticipated FIFA WCQ fixture, Football Monk takes a look at some aspects of this rivalry.
India and Bangladesh have a long history of independence, politics and cultural interaction. The footballing rivalry between these two teams is nothing short of that. Though, it seems India has a much better record against their Eastern Rivals.
India and Bangladesh first competed against each other in 1978 Asian Games. India bagged a comfortable victory with a 3-0 margin. From there on, India and Bangladesh have crossed the road in football 29 times. The Blue Tigers won 15 times and 12 ending up in draws. Bangladesh have only two victories against India. Both played during the South Asian Federation Games, 1991 and 1999.
The history marks Indian teams as the favourites, though all of latest three encounters ended in draws. The most recent one came in this group, back in October, 2019.
Bangladesh had almost clinched a victory that night. They had a 1-0 lead till the 88th minute of the match thanks to late first half goal from young striker Saad Uddin. It was only a late equalizer from defender Adil Khan, which clinched a crucial point for India in this much competitive group of FIFA WCQ.
Key aspects to look out for
In the previous game against Qatar, Igor Stimac’s side played a compact defensive style of play with very little space in between the lines. It reduced Qatar’s passing abilities in the attack. So, we can also expect a solid defensive set up from India in the upcoming match.
In the match against Qatar, India had an early set back as Rahul Bheke was shown red card on the 17th minute. It decreased India’s chances to create from behind dramatically. So, the Blue Tigers found themselves defending against a tough Qatari attack for almost rest of the match.
Against Bangladesh the situation will be different. India can expect much more spaces to operate and a chance to build up play. On the other hand, Bangladesh hasn’t impressed much since its surprise draw against the Blue Tigers back in 2019. Currently, they are lacking defensive stability, which Indian attackers can exploit.
Although, Bangladesh’s build up play doesn’t seem to impress, their long ball capability can turn out to be lethal. Indian defenders need to have a keen eye on that.
Manvir Singh vs Topu Barman
Manvir Singh is one of the most creative forward in India. His role down the right flank can be key to India’s success in this game. He has the ability to be inside the box at the right place and the right time.
Stopping him from getting spaces will be crucial for Bangladesh. Topu Barman plays as the left back for their team. And he is expected to watch out for Manvir one on one.
Md. Motin Mia vs Sandesh Jhingan
Md. Motun Mia is expected start as the lone striker for Bangladesh as they mainly focus on providing long balls into the box. Sandesh Jhingan is arguably the No. 1 stopper for India right now. With his height and physique, he can stop the aerial threat from opponents.
Meanwhile, Mia from Bashundhara Kings has some tricks in his bag. The 22-year-old striker is comfortable with the ball and can create chances from short spaces. Stopping him will be the main target for the Indian defence line.
Playing with 10 men for more than 70 minutes, Qatar’s irresistible passing game forced India to play defensively in the previous game. Though it isn’t the style of Igor Stimac’s team, with the addition of creative players like Sahal Abdul Samad, we can expect a much more positive and attacking Indian side against Bangladesh.
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