India face spirited Guam

India face spirited Guam
In keeping with coach Stephen Constantine’s new rotational captaincy policy, striker Sunil Chhetri has been handed the armband as India aim for full points against Guam in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers here on Tuesday.

While India went down 1-2 after a spirited fight to higher-ranked Oman in their previous match, Guam created history with an upset solitary goal win over Turkmenistan.
India will draw inspiration from the fact that they defeated Guam 4-0 in their previous match, besides counting the positives from their narrow defeat to Oman in Bengaluru.

As far as the team combination is concerned, Constantine is unlikely to tinker with the line-up. Chhetri and Robin Singh will lead the attack. Chhetri made a statement by scoring a gem of a goal against Oman and the Bengaluru FC skipper will look to add to his tally against the Guam defence.

Chhetri’s importance can be gauged from the fact that he has scored all the three goals that India have scored in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers till now. A new-look defence cracked early against Oman and Arnab Mondal, the skipper in the previous match, will have to guide the youngsters Dhanachandra Singh and Lalchhaummawia through the tough periods.

Though India are ranked above Guam in FIFA rankings, Constantine isn’t willing to read much into the disparity. “We are not in a position to look at the FIFA rankings. Every team have their pluses and minuses. Guam, having won their last match against Turkmenistan, are going to be encouraged,” Constantine said.

Speaking about his opponents, he said, “They have a couple of their players playing in the USA. They have the edge of having back to back home games.
“But we are here to win the game. Whoever the opponent may be, we go to the field with a positive mind frame.”

Guam coach Gary White said:  “It’s likely to be a competitive one. Win or perish – both teams would go out to get those three points. We have watched India’s match against Oman and must say that there seems to be a new life in the Indian team. They looked very organised and it will be difficult to break them down,” he stated.
The match will be held at 11:45 am IST.

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