India vs Mongolia Preview
The India Vs Mongolia preview is online as Indian football team is back in to action after a two months break, with Odisha set to host the 2023 Hero Intercontinental Cup. The Blue Tigers will square off against Mongolia in their opening encounter at the Kalinga stadium in Bubaneswar on Friday, June 9.
Lebanon and Vantau are also participating in the tournament and face each other early on Friday at the same Venue.
On the victory, India’s success against Myanmar and the Kyrgyz Republic in March was a much needed boost for head coach Igor Stimac. On being the defending champions, the Onus is certainly on the hosts to keep their momentum going and giving the competition strong. Likewise Germany had a international friendly match with Peru after long time from the finals FIFA world cup.
Having the Victory in the Hero Tri Nation tournament, India moves forwards five places ahead in FIFA rankings. They are currently ranked 101st, below Lebanon and New Zeland.
Stimac initially selected a 41 man squad but eventually narrowed it down to 27 players. This is the start of a crucial juncture for the Blue tigers as they prepare for the all-Important AFC Asian Cup in 2024.
Meanwhile, Mongolia will play in the intercontinental cup for the first time. They are the lowest-ranked team (183) among the four participating countries and have won just one of their last five games.
The action-packed contest between India and Mongolia is going to be the opening fixture for both nations and will be played at the tournament’s solitary venue of Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Kalinga Stadium which also acts as the home venue for the Indian national team and Odisha will be hosting all fixtures including the final.
The tradition of the Intercontinental Cup competition continues with India set to host three new countries join the roster to make a claim on the trophy. It will be a ten-day international saga that will commence with a double-header on Friday while the final fixture is scheduled on the 18th of June 2023.
The Blue Tigers were crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the Intercontinental Cup in 2018 after defeating the African counterparts Kenya by 2-0 in the finals. However, the hosts could not sustain further the triumphant run in the following edition when higher-ranked sides joined the roster and finished fourth without winning a single game.
They are once considered favorites to grace the champions after being the second-highest ranked participant but the primary focus of the gaffer Stimac and his boys will be on the regional competition scheduled right after this tournament.
Meanwhile, Mongolia previously hosted the Group B fixtures AFC Asian Cup qualifier third round but couldn’t make it to the final tournament after finishing third in the group standings with only a single win. The Blue Wolves have turned up for this subcontinent challenge with the ultimate aim to claim their first-ever team honour since joining FIFA in 1998.
Team News and Line up
Mongolia’s Japanese head coach Ichiro Otsuka entrusts the 4-4-2 as a primary formation and often reverts to 5-3-2 according to the opponent’s style of play. They are expected to make no changes in the starting lineup which took the battlefield against Georgia in March. The scoring responsibilities of the Blue Wolves will be on the shoulders of the winger Baljinnyam Batbold and the 22-year-old attacking sensation Ganbayar Ganbold.
Igor Stimac was forced to narrow down the 27-men Indian squad to 26 players owing to the injuries of the holding midfielder Suresh Singh Wangjam and Mumbai City goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa.
The Hyderabad goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh Chahal has replaced the Sikkimese shot-stopper as the third-choice goalie while the replacement of Wangjam is yet to be announced. Rowllin Borges has made a surprising return to the national team after a two-year break and the veteran midfielder is likely to be seen on the field in the absence of Suresh.
India vs Mongolia Preview and Prediction
Undoubtedly India are in the favourites to win the game. The Players have trained for a month and as a result, they could have best starting lineup.
Mongolia are also who have the potential to cause an upset. The Blue Wolves will look to stay compact and hit their opponents on the break with their forwards who are quick across the ground.