India host Iran for a crucial FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match on Tuesday, 8th September at the Shree Kanteerava Stadium Bangalore.
India are currently struggling at the rock bottom position of Group ‘D’ without a single point in two matches. Stephen Constantine’s men went down fighting in the opening match against Oman 1-2 and lost against a weaker Guam side in the second game. India performed very poorly against a lower ranked Guam side at their home. India are currently ranked 155th in the FIFA rankings which is 115 places behind their opponents Iran who are ranked 40th and 1st in Asia.
Iran started their campaign on a low as they managed to draw against a much weaker Turkmenistan. The Asian giants came back strongly and regained their form as they thrashed Guam in their second game last week 6-0. Iran are placed 3rd in the Group behind Guam but they have a game in hand.
India – Stephen Constantine likely to field his team in a classic 4-4-2 formation with Jeje Lalpekhlua pairing up with Robin Singh. Former India captain Sunil Chhetri will operate from left wing. The defense is likely to stay same what India had against Nepal last week. An exciting match is on the cards although the Iranian contingent looks much stronger on paper.
The deadliest forward at present in India and India’s all time highest goal scorer will be the most important player for India tomorrow. The former national team captain will lead the attacking unit of India from the front and India’s challenge will solely depend on Chhetri’s performance on the field. He is likely to play from the left-wing position and feed the balls to the strikers Robin Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Sardar Azmoun arguably the best player in Iran is popularly known as the ‘Iranian Messi’. He plays for Russian side Rostov and is on loan from Rubin Kazan who plays in the UEFA Champions League. There was rumoured interest from Liverpool and Arsenal last season in the January window. He recently scored a brace against Guam and has blistering pace and a sharp eye for goal. He has seven goals in 11 appearances for Iran. The Indian defenders will have to keep a firm eye on ‘Iranian Messi’.
India 0-4 Iran. We expect a complete domination of Iran who are way ahead of India. We expect 4-0 scoreline in Iran’s favour.