India is all set to play Caribbean side Curacao in the penultimate round of the King’s Cup at Buriram today. The side led by Remko Biecentini will be considering this tournament as a preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this month.
The side ranked 82 in FIFA Rankings defeated Bolivia by 1-0 in a friendy in March, 2018 and are looking forward to sweep past 101–ranked Asian outfit.
Talk Sports 24×7 analyses the squad of both the teams involved and marks out the top 5 players to watch out in the fixture:
1) Sunil Chhetri :
The ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ of Indian National football team, Sunil Chhetri is quite a big name in international football. He has more international goals(67) than Lionel Messi (65), Didier Drogba(65), Zlatan Ibrahimovic(62), David Villa(59) and Robert Lewandowski(56), few of the top scorers in international football. He would be the main man to look forward to in this tie.
2) Rahul Bheke:
Making his way into the squad for the first time, Bheke is a hugely talented defender used to playing as centre back as well as side back, is also a goal getter. He scored four goals for his club last season, more than any other defender or midfielder for Bengaluru FC. Rahul could slip into the right back position against Curacao and would be a man to watch out for with his brilliant crosses and hunger for goals.
3) Michael Maria:
The 24-years-old is currently playing for USL side Charlotte Independence. With his experience from Bundesliga 2nd division, he brings the much needed mental strength in the Curacao squad. His versatility is the main reason he is in this list. Michael can play as left back as well as a midfielder. He likes to play as a defensive midfielder rather a deep-lying playmaker with his amazing quality of distribution and snatching.
4) Sahal Abdul Samad :
Making way into the Reserve team in 2017 to the first XI in ISL 2018 for Kerala Blasters, the young Keralite has already made it to the National Team squad. Winning the Emerging Player of the Season 2018-19, Sahal has had a good season individually so far with his side. He is clinical in distribution and he is agile. Sahal adds extra edge to the squad with his work rate and snatching in the midfield. He will be a top man to watch out for in the tie if he is picked for the XI
5) Leandro Bacuna:
Another young and versatile player in the Curacao squad, playing for Cardiff City, who were relegated to Championship from the English Premier League this very season. Bacuna plays as central midfielder as well as right back. He will bring in a huge boost in the performance of his nation. India will have to look after this man on the pitch.
Curacao is without doubt superior to India in many aspects of the game. Under the new coach- Igor Stimac, India would be determined to pull off a tough challenge. However, the lack of familiarity between the coach and players might be a setback for the Blues.
India vs Curacao: Match Details
Date: 5 June 2019
Kickoff: 2:00 PM IST/ 3:30 ICT (Local Time)
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Chang Arena, Buriram