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International Friendly: India vs Nepal Preview - Blue Tigers set for Gorkhali test at Mumbai

Goal.com logo Goal.com 05-06-2017

The Indian national team will welcome the national side of Nepal on Tuesday evening in an international friendly at the Mumbai Football Arena at 19:00 IST.

The Blue Tigers and The Gorkhalis head into the tie with the aim of preparing themselves for their respective AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers scheduled for the following week. It is to be noted that Nepal agreed to play India on short notice after Lebanon backed out of the fixture following difficulties in obtaining visas for their players.

As far as the scenario in the AFC Asian Cup qualifier is concerned, Stephen Constantine's men have been placed in Group A alongside Myanmar, Kyrgyz Republic and Macau. Chhetri and co. had beaten Myanmar 1-0 in the opening game of the group in March. The victory in Yangon sees the Blues sit at the top of their group.

On the other hand, Koji Gyotoku's side are in Group F with Philippines, Yemen and Tajkistan. The Gorkhalis didn't have a positive start to their campaign as they fell prey to Philippines in a 4-1 result at Manila. Following the defeat, they sit last in their group.

Which makes playing a friendly before the AFC Cup qualifier games a wise move and will allow both teams to shake off any rust.

Also read: Indian National Football Team: Know Your Rivals - Nepal

The Blue Tigers are likely to start with a 4-1-3-2 formation with Rowllin Borges operating as the holding midfielder. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will feature between the sticks whereas the backline will comprise Mohun Bagan custodian Pritam Kotal, Bengaluru FC's formidable Sandesh Jhingan, the solid Anas Edathodika and the young left-back Narayan Das.

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Indian ace Sunil Chhetri will function on the left with fellow Bengaluru FC man Euegenson Lyngdoh in central midfield; Jackichand Singh, who missed the Federation Cup for the Reds and Golds due to personal reasons, will take charge of the proceedings on the right. The attack will be led by 27-year-old Robin Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua.

As for Nepal, the visitors are likely to opt for an orthodox 4-4-2 formation with Bharat Khawas and Bimal Gharti Magar leading up-front. Head coach Gyotoku has dropped former skipper Anil Gurung from his squad which means Biraj Maharjan will wear the captain's armband. Maharjan will lead the defence with Kamal Shrestha, Ananta Tamang and Aditya Chaudhary are full-backs.

Rabin Shrestha and Rajin Dhimal are sidelined due to injuries. Bishal Rai and Anjan Bista will play on the flanks whereas Sujal Shrestha and Rohit Chand will be at the heart of midfield.

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Among the 18 matches played between the two sides, the Indians have won 12 times, shared spoils four times and lost twice to their neighbouring nation. The records of the past favour the hosts but one cannot write off Nepal.

PREDICTED LINE-UP:

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