Indian Football News : Best Indian Football Players in Current Squad for India’s World cup qualifiers

Sudarshan Venkatesan
|Published 04/09/2019

Here are the best players set to take part in the World Cup Qualifiers for India.

The road to Qatar will kick start from this week. India will be hoping to write a new script under the management of Igor Stimac. The Blue Tigers will initiate their World Cup Qualifiers campaign with the game against Oman in Guwahati on September 5.

It is followed by a trip down to Doha to play the hosts. The first two ties will be a huge determinant in shaping the group. They will play Bangladesh at home, before travelling out to Afghanistan and Oman. Before concluding their group stage in India against Afghanistan, they will host Qatar and visit Bangladesh.

The team has supreme talent over the field, with several individual players could come handy at one point of time. It is very likely that the team will be hoping to focus on the defensive astuteness after conceding goals in the last tournament.

We shall look at five best players, who could make a difference in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

#5 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu: 

Shot-stopper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has been largely underwhelming over the last year because of the lamentable performances. The shot-stopper has been the best in business for his club, whilst it’s been the reverse for him while he represents his country.

But, his performances since he made his debut is set to earn a place in the top five of this list. During the latter stages of Stephen Constantine’s reign, Gurpreet made some unexplainable mistakes, which was very uncharacteristic of him. However, since the managerial change which saw Stimac take over the Blue Tigers in June, the shot-stopper has stood out when his side has needed him to guard the post.

Sandhu is in the back of a title-winning season with Bengaluru and could make a difference in the WC Qualifiers. With confidence, there’s no better than him in business at times. Standing 6’3, he can cut down set pieces and eliminate the aerial threat.

#4 Udanta Singh: 

Udanta Singh operates through the right-wing for his club and country. With a breakneck pace, he can take on defenders and contribute towards the final third of the game.

He has an exceptional understanding with Sunil Chhetri, which makes it life easier to stack up numbers in the offensive area. The 23-year-old has scored only once in his International career, but has an abundance of talent to cause disruption in the opponent’s half.

With the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Anirudh Thapa, and Lallianzuala Chhangte, India carry a ferocious attack into the World Cup Qualifiers. During the game against Syria, India’s attack stood up to the task after conceding three in the first half. This quartet combined well to fragment the backline of the opposition and give a glimmer of hope before eventually conceding two just minutes before the full-time whistle.

#3 Pritam Kotal: 

Pritam Kotal has been the best pick of the lot in the backline for India over the last year. Sandesh Jhinghan and Subhasish were underwhelming in the past tournament, and have never really picked off ever since then.

The 25-year-old will play through the right defensive flank for the Blue Tigers. Since either Sandesh or Rahul Bheke have struggled to find their rhythm, Pritam has found it hard to bomb forward and combine with the offensive department. He has the perfect balance to bomb downwards and upwards, making himself as his nation’s number one choice.

Ever since making his debut for India in 2015, Pritam Kotal has gone on to play 35 games. His place in the starting eleven is firm and it could take a lot for others to displace him currently.

#2 Anirudh Thapa: 

India’s main source of creativity from the midfield department is Anirudh Thapa. The young midfielder does lots of running, but his preferred position is the attacking areas as he likes to get inside the box more often.

The 21-year-old was part of the catastrophic season with Chennaiyin, but John Gregory wanted him to sit back with the defence and dictate the play. It’s not fair to say that it’s not suitable to him, but he shines only in the attacking midfield position.

Thapa made his national team debut at the age of 19 and has established himself as an integral player under Igor Stimac. The Croat has not picked his starting eleven yet, but leaving out a talent of Anirudh Thapa would be absurd. He has won 21 caps for his national team and has scored two goals in this period.

#1 Sunil Chhetri:

The third active leading scorer in world football, Sunil Chhetri will lead India’s attack in the World Cup Qualifiers. The striker has been in sublime form despite being in the middle ’30s. He is a class apart when he takes up the field for his nation.

Sunil Chhetri is not only a tremendous goalscorer, but he can create chances for his teammates as well. Since Stimac adopts a defensive methodology, the striker will be alone at times. He works his socks off to win the ball back and assist his side.

In the recently concluded tournament, India’s Skipper was in terrifying form by finding the back of the net on two occasions from three games. He’s crucial to India’s goalscoring chances as he carries a riffle to destroy the opponents. As anticipated, Igor Stimac will be hoping for his captain to step up his game as India chase a place in the World Cup.

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