Kolkata: Buoyed by their gallant goalless draw against Asian champions Qatar, India would be looking to register their first win in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers when they take on Bangladesh in a group E second round match at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. India put a gritty performance against an attacking Qatar, to hold the reigning Asian champions to a goalless draw and earn their first point of the qualifiers after suffering a heartbreaking loss in the opening match against Oman. With the city set to host the senior national men’s team after a gap of nine years, the euphoria around the match has been immense with a mad rush for tickets as the Saltlake Stadium is set to witness a packed house, giving the Igor Stimac-coached side a perfect stage to grab three points and keep their World Cup hopes alive. The absence of defender, Sandesh Jhingan due to an ACL tear on his left knee is a big blow to the hosts. But the return of talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri after missing the last game will lift the team’s spirit. In his last appearance, Chhetri scored his 72nd international goal, the second most among active players, as India put up a dominating first-half display only to go down 1-2 after conceding late goals in their World Cup qualifier against Oman in Guwahati. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu took the charge in Chhetri’s absence and thwarted a barrage of attacks from Qatar, making 11 saves in a heroic display to snatch a point from the 2022 World Cup hosts. While defence, tactical formation and discipline were the highlights of their match against Qatar, the focus against Bangladesh, who are ranked 83 places below India, would be on the strikers. Chhetri will remain the go-to man in the attacking zone, but the onus will also be on the likes of Balwant Singh and Manvir Singh to make an impact, something former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia has highlighted. “It’s only Sunil who’s able to score. If he’s not playing or does not score it becomes very, very difficult. We need to improve our forward lineup. In this Bangladesh game, it’s going to be a big test for the strikers. It’s not the defence but the forward line will have to deliver,” Bhutia said. Chhetri will also have the support of his Bengaluru FC teammates Udanta Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan, while Mandar Rao Desai and Sahal Abdul Samad will be key in creating chances. As for the back line, Stimac will be forced to rejig his central-defence with Anas Edathodika likely to pair up with Adil Khan in front of Sandhu. Jhingan’s injury gives Anas with a perfect opportunity to prove himself again, especially after returning from retirement. India failed to keep up the intensity in the final minutes because of fitness concerns against Oman but Stimac addressed the issue against Qatar. And it will be interesting to see how the Blue Tigers cope up with the challenge against Bangladesh, who have eight under-23 players in their squad.Bangladesh head to the match after two consecutive defeats. They lost narrowly to Afghanistan and in their last match before going down 0-2 to Qatar. But the Jamie Day-coached side has put up a strong fight and created many chances in the two games. The Englishman may have conceded that India are firm favourites but Bangladesh will certainly look to make an impact with their forward duo of Nabib Newaz Ziban and Saad Uddin.Also Read | Sunil Chhetri Joins Virat Kohli, Becomes A Vegan To Become FitterOn paper, India enjoy a commanding 15-2 head-to-head record in 28 meetings but Bangladesh have managed to stay unbeaten in their last two fixtures (1-1 in SAFF Championships, 2013 and 2-2 in an International friendly, 2014). Kick-off: 7.30 pm. For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
Real Madrid star James Rodriguez 1 The agent of James Rodriguez, Jorge Mendes, is set to discuss the Real Madrid playmaker’s future with the club’s president next week – amid interest from Arsenal and Manchester City.James has endured a difficult second campaign at the Bernabeu due to a number of niggling injuries which has had a negative impact on his form.According to El Confidencial, Mendes has scheduled a meeting with Real president Florentino Perez next week to try reach an agreement on the Colombian’s future.Arsenal were linked with a move for James last summer, while City are also understood to be ready to submit a mega-money offer should the 24-year-old become available.James joined Real from Monaco in 2014 after starring at the World Cup in Brazil that year and enjoyed a stellar first season in the Spanish capital, scoring 17 goals in 46 games.
LATTE attended an intimate lunch with Trails of Indochina (TOI) and select travel advisers on Thursday 8 December to hear the latest news, including its new incentive programme for agents.TOI offer bespoke itineraries throughout South East Asia ranging from one-day to three weeks and have recently launched new high-end adventure tours which can incorporate trekking, cycling and even dirt bike riding in select destinations.Kirsty Thomas-Thoeun hosted the event at Mekong Restaurant in Chippendale and introduced the ‘fam-tastic’ incentive for agents.Luxury travel advisers can earn up to $1500 to spend on land arrangements with TOI by making new bookings between 15 December 2016 to 31 March 2017 with departures until 30 June 2017.A total booking value of AU $10,000 in combined departed and forward bookings by 31 March 2017 will receive $500, $20,000 earns $1000 and agents with bookings in excess of $30,000 will receive $1500 to spend.For full terms and conditions please email email@example.com.