India are in Tajikistan to take on Afghanistan in Group E of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup joint qualifiers at the Central Republican Stadium in Dushanbe, on Thursday.
Afghanistan vs India
Thursday, November 14
7:30 pm IST
How To Watch
The Star Sports Network will be broadcasting the match in India on TV as well as their digital platform.
Star Sports 3
Afghanistan Possible XI:
Players to watch: Haroon Amiri, Farshad Noor
India Possible XI:
Doubtful: Anas Edathodika
Players to watch: Sunil Chhetri, Sahal Abdul Samad
The Indian national team is left without a win in three matches in the qualifiers after a disappointing draw against Bangladesh a month ago.
After a loss against Oman and a fighting stalemate against Qatar, India were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw in Kolkata against Bangladesh. Mistakes at the back hurt the Blue Tigers who had to wait until late in the match before Adil Khan salvaged a point with a header. The absense of injured Sandesh Jhingan and that of possibly Anas Edathodika, who has traveled back to India due to personal reasons, remains a concern.
Although Igor Stimac's men hunger for goals is pretty evident, they have found it hard to break down teams who prefer to sit deep - as was shown against Bangladesh. The midfield battle will hence define the direction of the game against the Afghans who are ranked lower than India.
India will have to regain the mentality they showed against bigger teams such as Oman and Qatar in order to notch their first win of the qualifiers.
It has not been a perfect qualifying campaign for Afghanistan either, though they have a win against Bangladesh to show.
Anoush Dastgir may look to adopt Bangladesh's approach against India by crowding the midfield and frustrating their opponents and look to steal a goal on the break.
Afghanistan may choose to go with experience over youth for this tie with Zubayr Amiri up front. Haroon Amiri is the most known faces to play in India while Farshad Noor is the most high-profile names in the team with an important role at the heart of midfield.
Going into the encounter, India (2 points) are trailing their northwestern neighbours by a point after both sides have played three games each in Group E of the qualifiers.