Football

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026, Afghanistan Vs India: Statistical Preview

The Blue Tigers will be bolstered with the return of Jeakson Singh and Anwar Ali, as they renew their quest for a maiden entry into the third round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers when India lock horns against a weakened Afghanistan. Here is a statisical preview of the game

X/IndianFootball
Blue Tigers are in Saudi Arabia to play Afghanistan in World Cup Qualifiers. Photo: X/IndianFootball
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Sunil Chhetri-led Indian men's national football team are set to kick-off their FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign against Afghanistan as they look for a positive response after their dismal outing the AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign. (More Football news)

The Blue Tigers will fly out to play the Lions of Khorasan with the return leg set to be played in Guwahati on March 26 in the Round 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and 2027 Asian Cup joint qualifiers.

India are currently tied on three points in Group A of the qualifiers, along with Kuwait, who are ahead on goal difference. The Blue Tigers defeated Kuwait (1-0) in Kuwait City in their opening match of the qualifiers, before losing to Qatar (0-3) in Bhubaneswar. Qatar currently lead the group with six points.

Statistical Preview:

India's last five games has seen them losing four with a sole victory against Kuwait. These two have faced each other 11 times on the international stage with the Afghans prevailing in 11 matches. India have registered only seven victories with three draws.

Speaking of their opponents, India have faced Afghanistan the most number of times in the last 15 years. That includes three consecutive SAFF Championship finals, two World Cup Qualifiers and one Asian Cup Qualifier.

Head-to-head

Total Matches played – 11

Afghanistan Wins – 1

India Wins – 7

Draws – 3

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith.

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Mehtab Singh, Rahul Bheke, Nikhil Poojary, Subhasish Bose, Anwar Ali, Amey Ranawade, Jay Gupta.

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Deepak Tangri, Lalengmawia Ralte, Imran Khan.

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Vikram Partap Singh.

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