India will face Bahrain in its last group match. A lot depends on it after the team produced mixed results in its first two games. The win against Thailand in the opening game was extraordinary but the defeat from UAE has put some pressure on India. Although Bahrain has been in poor form in the competition, drawing with UAE and suffering 1-0 defeat from Thailand. But Bahrain is still in the race to progress to the next round.
India only needs a win to progress to the knockout round. But if they lose or draw, their fate would depend on the result of other matches in the Group i.e UAE vs Thailand. India is currently ranked 97 in Fifa rankings while Bahrain is ranked 113.
Head to Head
India has faced Bahrain on 5 occasions Out of these 5:
● Bahrain wins: 4
● India wins:0
● Last Meeting: AFC Asian Cup 2011 ( Bahrain 5-2 India)
India(4-4-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subhasish Bose, Sandesh Jhinghan, Anas Edathodika, Pritam Kotal, Halicharan Narzary, Pronay Haldar, Anirudh Thapa, Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Expected Changes: Though Halicharan Narzary was quite dull during the last match, Constantine is expected to start with the same lineup.
Bahrain(4-2-3-1): Sayed Shubbar Alawi, Ahmed Juma, Waleed Al Hayem, Hamad Al Shamsan, Sayed Redha Issa, Sayed Dhiya Saeed, Komail Al Aswad, Abdul Wahab Al Safi, Mohamed Marhoon, Sami Al Husaini, Mohamed Al Romaihi.
Expected Changes: The only expected change from the previous games is that Sami Al Husaini could come in place of Ali Madan.
India will be fighting to make history and they are only 90 minutes away from doing so. This could be the start of a new chapter of Indian Football. Though Bahrain has not been able to put a top performance, but it would be unwise to write them off just yet. India still has the upper hand and can pull a victory. Indian fans would be hoping that the big players turn up for this fixture and don’t miss chances as they did in the previous game.
The match will be played at Al- Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah on 14 January at 9:30 PM (IST).