India will play Bangladesh in a Group E World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, October 15th in Kolkata. The match will start at 7 pm local time.
India Bet Insights
- India are playing at home in Kolkata for the first time since 2011.
- India are currently ranked 104 in the world, Bangladesh are tied with Laos and Montserrat in 187th.
- After the opening game in their World Cup qualifying, India are fourth after taking a valuable point from a draw with reigning Asian champions Qatar. Bangladesh are fifth and bottom of the group, having started with a 1 – 0 loss to Afghanistan in a match played in Tajikistan.
- Bangladesh have lost the last 6 international matches they have contested, shipping in 24 goals without finding the net once.
India are taking this match seriously, with eleven training sessions planned, and a friendly match arranged against Northeast United FC on October 9th. Now coached by Igor Štimac of Croatia, who, as a player had spells in England with Derby County and West Ham United, the home side, having held out for a goalless draw in their opening group game against Qatar, will be looking to adopt a much more attacking style against the minnows in the group.
Having lost to Oman in their opening group game at the start of September, they will be looking not only to win, but to do so by a big margin, hoping that goal difference may yet be enough to get them a spot as one of the best runners-up, although with both Qatar and Oman also in Group E, that looks a tall order.
This will be a tough challenge for Bangladesh against a side ranked 83 places about them in the FIFA world rankings. Professional football in the country is still in its infancy, and lags way behind India in terms of facilities, and the standard of the domestic leagues.
Most of their squad is under-23, and part of the challenge of football administrators in Bangladesh is to raise the standard of the professional league, and get more young players into the national team.
Coached by a Brit, Jamie Day, who was once briefly on the books of Arsenal as a youth, they will at least hope the experience of playing at this level and in front of this size of crowd, will hold them in good stead for the future.
One thing they are counting on is good away support. West Bengal and Dhaka are located in close proximity to each other, and there are similarities in terms of language and culture, so they are hoping away fans will turn up in their numbers.
With only the Group winners, and the four best group runners-up advancing to the next round of FIFA World Cup qualification as well as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, then it is essential that India win, and win well, if they want to keep their remote hopes of qualification alive.
One guarantee though is that it should be played in a good atmosphere. Ticket sales are going well, and organisers are expecting anywhere between 60,000 and 65,000 to be in the stadium.