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How can India line-up for their Merdeka Cup opener against Malaysia?

How can India line-up for their Merdeka Cup opener against Malaysia?

The Merdeka Cup provides an excellent chance for the Indian contingent as it will be an important tournament for the team ahead of their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

India vs Malaysia: The Indian football team will begin their Merdeka Cup campaign against hosts Malaysia on 13th October. The Merdeka Cup provides an excellent chance for the Indian contingent. It will be an important tournament for the team ahead of their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. But with injuries to many important players of the team, how will Igor Stimac’s India line-up for their match against Malaysia on October 13th? Let’s have a look.

Injury galore

Mohun Bagan Super Giant winger Ashique Kuruniyan is ruled out for rest of the season with an ACL injury. Incidentally, the injury occurred while playing for the national team against Iraq in Kings Cup. Both club and country are unlikely to get the services of the winger anytime soon.

Additionally, four important players of the team will not be able to take part in India vs Malaysia. “We have a squad of 23 here in Malaysia, but four of our players – Anwar Ali, Subhasish Bose, Manvir Singh, and Brandon Fernandes – are carrying injuries from their club engagements,” head coach Igor Stimac had announced on Wednesday.

How can India line-up against Malaysia?

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu– It is safe to say Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will retain his place in the goal despite some recent bloopers.

Nikhil Poojari– Nikhil Poojari has had some rigorous minutes under his belt this ISL, with the right-back starting in both of Hyderabad FC’s matches so far.

Sandesh Jhingan– Sandesh Jhingan is one senior-most player of the Indian team and is one of the automatic choices when it comes to big games.

Mehtab Singh– Anwar Ali’s injury could pave the way for Mehtab Singh into the starting line-up. The Mumbai City FC centre back makes a good case for himself after his recent good outing against Kerala Blasters.

Akash Mishra– The left-back will probably get the nod in the absence of the more experienced Subhashish Bose. The 21-year-old will to looking to grab the opportunity

Anirudh Thapa– Anirudh Thapa in all likelihood will be a part of the midfield.

Insidesport

Rohit Kumar– Rohit Kumar is another central midfielder that has done well in the recent past and deserves a chance.

Sahal Abdul Samad– It is possible that the Indian football enthusiasts and Mariners will get to see their familiar midfield pairing of Samad and Thapa in the Indian set-up as well.

Lallianzuala Chhangte– Chhangte is a player Stimac admires and the right-winger will likely start against Malaysia.

Sunil Chhetri– The Indian skipper is the first name on the teamsheet and a living legend in his own right.

Liston Colaco– Liston Colaco can man the left-wing of the Blue Tigers with his brisk pace and dangerous crosses.

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