India vs Bangladesh, World Cup Qualifiers: India Return To Kolkata, Eye First Win In Qualifying Campaign
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: India take on Bangladesh at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, more popularly known as Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The Indian Football Team will be in action in Kolkata for the first time in eight years as they take on Bangladesh in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday amid heightened excitement and a rush for tickets. India come into the match on the back of their impressive performance against Asian champions Qatar, which earned them a goalless draw in Doha. They will, however, be without the services of star centre-back Sandesh Jhingan, who picked up an injury in a friendly match last week.
The Indian team arrived in Kolkata on Sunday after a 10-day preparatory camp in Guwahati.
"We'll need to work on set-pieces, combinations and choose the best eleven for the game," manager Igor Stimac said ahead of the crucial qualifying tie.
"The entire squad is extremely excited. Thank you Kolkata for your response," he added.
India had gone to Doha in September after suffering defeat in their campaign opener against Oman in Guwahati.
Despite being underdogs against Qatar, India held on to a goalless draw thanks to an inspired performance by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
India were playing without their talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri and struggled to create chances but for Qatar, chances had come aplenty.
But despite the home side having more than a dozen shots on target, Sandhu kept them at bay with his heroics in goal.
Sandesh Jhingan, who was impressive at the back in Doha, suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in a friendly match against Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United.
He will undergo surgery and is expected to be out of action for around six months.
Jhingan will be a big miss for India and Igor Stimac will hope that either Narender Gahlot or Anas Edathodika can step up in his absence to partner Adil Khan at the heart of India's defence.
Midfielders Amarjit Kiyam and Pranoy Halder are also out with injury while Rowllin Borges is out of the clash due to a suspension.
India are currently in fourth spot in the five-team table with a single point and will be hoping to get their first win of the qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup against Bangladesh.