Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac has named a 35-man probable list for the international friendlies against Oman and UAE are scheduled to be played on March 25 and March 29 respectively. The match against Oman will be the Blue Tigers’ first action since 19th November 2019, when they coincidentally faced Oman in a World Cup qualifier match. Their subsequent scheduled matches had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes just three days after the ISL 2020-21 league stage came to an end with Mumbai City beating ATK Mohun Bagan 2-0 in the final game to win the ISL Shield, hence, secured a berth in the AFC Champions League group stages. NorthEast United FC and FC Goa are the other two other side who qualified for the playoffs.
The final list of 28 players will be announced after the Indian Super League final, which is slated to take place on March 13. The Blue Tigers will assemble in a preparatory camp in Dubai from March 15 onwards.
“We have kept 35 players in the list as a cushion in case any player picks up an injury during the ISL playoffs,” Igor Stimac said.
Owing to their inspiring performances in the ISL group stages, some new faces like NorthEast United’s Mashoor Shereef, Ashutosh Mehta, Hyderabad FC’s Akash Mishra, Kerala Blasters’ Jeakson Singh and Rahul KP have been called up by Stimac in the preliminary squad.
“It’s been a difficult year for all of us and finally, we are all getting together. It will be great to meet some new young guns and to check how bright our future is with them,” Stimac said.
“I know the season was a tough one and players might be overloaded. But, we have enough time to refresh their legs and brains. However, many of them will have a break of two weeks without any organised training sessions prior to joining the camp. Hopefully, they will execute their individual working plans,” he added.
Stimac clarified that Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad and Asish Rai have not been included in the list as they are nursing injuries.
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh, Vishal Kaith.
DEFENDERS: Seriton Fernandes, Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Sarthak Golui, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Prabir Das, Mashoor Shereef.
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammad, Suresh Singh, Liston Colaco, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Rahul KP, Hitesh Sharma, Farukh Choudhary
FORWARDS: Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita.