The Indian football team will kick-off their SAFF Championship 2021 campaign against Bangladesh at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives on Monday, October 4.
Under the tutelage of head coach Igor Stimac, the Blue Tigers will eye their eighth SAFF Cup (earlier known as SAARC Cup) title, having won it in 1993 (Lahore), 1997 (Kathmandu), 1999 (Margao), 2005 (Karachi), 2009 ( Dhaka), 2011 (New Delhi) and 2015 (Thiruvananthapuram) - which is the most by any team in the tournament.
Stimac has added Bengaluru FC winger Udanta Singh and Kerala Blasters FC midfielder Jeakson Singh to India’s 23-man squad for the upcoming SAFF Championship. The duo was excluded from the two international friendly matches against Nepal that were held last month.
Midfielder Pronay Haldar, winger Bipin Singh and midfielder Akash Mishra have been dropped from the squad that featured in the two friendlies.
Currently ranked 107 in the FIFA rankings, India will lock horns with Sri Lanka (October 7) and Nepal (October 10) before facing hosts Maldives (October 13) in the final round-robin stage fixture.
On the other hand, the Bangladesh football team ended their seven-match winless run with a 1-0 win over Sri Lanka in their SAFF Championship opener on Friday. The Bengal Tigers head into the tournament having lost their last two friendlies against Palestine (0-2) and Kyrgyzstan (1-4). They were also beaten 0-2 by India in the last encounter between the teams in a World Cup qualifier in June.
Under new interim head coach Oscar Bruzon, Bangladesh will look to improve on their head-to-head record against India which reads two wins, 12 draws and 16 losses.
The Bengal Tigers will face Maldives (October 7) and Nepal (October 13) in their final two round-robin encounters.
The SAFF Championship 2021 final is scheduled to be held on October 16.
Indian football team squad for SAFF Championship 2021
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Seriton Fernandes, Chinglensana Singh, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Mandar Rao Dessai
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, Glan Martins, Suresh Singh, Liston Colaco, Yasir Mohammad
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary
Bangladesh football team squad for SAFF Championship 2021
Goalkeepers: Anisur Rahman Zico, Sahidul Alam Sohel, Ashraful Islam Rana
Defenders: Topu Barman, Bishwanath Ghosh, Rahmat Mia, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Riyadul Hasan Rafi, Yeasin Arafat, Razaul Karim, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Mohammad Hridoy
Midfielders: Sohel Rana, Jamal Bhuyan, Saad Uddin, Rakib Hossain, Atiqur Rahman Fahad
Forwards: Biplo Ahamed, Mahbubur Rahman, Mohammad Ibrahim, Matin Miah, Suman Reza, Jewel Rana
Where to watch India vs Bangladesh SAFF Championship 2021 live in India?
India vs Bangladesh SAFF Championship 2021 match will be telecast live on Eurosport and their corresponding HD TV channel in India. The match will start at 4:30 PM IST.
Live streaming of the India vs Bangladesh SAFF Championship 2021 match will be available on JioTV.
Featured photo: Twitter/IndianFootball