India and Qatar both have been placed in Group E . While India has lost 2 and had drawn three matches. It’s still looking for their first win. The match will be played in Doha at 10:30 pm IST ( Indian Standard Time) .
Despite having already sealed their place in the FIFA World Cup 2022 as hosts, Qatar are favourites to win Group E which will seal their place in the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals.
The reigning AFC Asian Cup titleholders have enjoyed an almost flawless qualifying campaign, with the 0-0 draw with India in September 2019 the only match Felix Sanchez’s side failed to win.
With Oman still within distance of Qatar, Sanchez will urge his players to target the three points against India.
Sanchez has named a strong 27-player squad for the Asian Qualifiers, with the likes of 2019 AFC Asian Cup topscorer Almoez Ali, Akram Afif and Hasan Alhaydos powering Qatar.
The West Asian side will not be lacking match exposure either, having registered impressive victories against Luxembourg (1-0) and Azerbaijan (2-1) before coming from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Republic of Ireland in March.
India, meanwhile, sit fourth in the standings on three points from three draws and two losses and in desperate need of a win against Qatar.
Three points will go a long way in securing the South Asian side an automatic place in the third round of the Qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, with Bangladesh and Afghanistan to follow for Igor Stimac’s side.
The return of talisman Sunil Chhetri will certainly be a welcome boost for India, with the captain having missed the 1-1 draw against Oman and 6-0 defeat to UAE during the March friendlies.
India has played a draw with Qatar in World Cup qualifiers earlier in 2019
India’s other qualification matches are against Bangladesh on 7th of June and Afghanistan on 15th of June. There is a huge difference in both the quality and rankings of the two teams.
While Qatar are ranked 58th, India are 105th. However, Indian players will draw inspiration from the last time they put up a fight with Qatar and managed to have a goalless draw, in a World Cup qualifying match in 2019, at the same venue in Doha.