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India vs Lebanon: SAFF Championship 2023 Match Preview, Team News and Predicted Line-ups

India vs Lebanon in the second semi-final of the SAFF Championship 2023. The match will be played at the Kanteerava Stadium.

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Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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India vs Lebanon in the second semi-final of the SAFF Championship 2023. The match will be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

Telecast:

The SAFF Championships 2023 semifinal between India vs Lebanon will be telecasted live on Doordarshan Bharti and Fancode app in India.

India vs Lebanon: Match Preview

Hosts India are scheduled to face Group B toppers Lebanon in the semi-final of the SAFF Championship 2023 on July 1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The match will be a rematch of the Intercontinental Cup final, where India emerged as the winners with a 2-0 scoreline on Sunday, June 18.

Lebanon qualified for the semi-final as the top team of Group B, with three wins out of three matches. The Lebanese defeated Maldives 1-0 in their last group match, thanks to a 24th-minute free-kick goal by their captain Hassan Maatouk. Lebanon have been in excellent attacking form in the competition as they have scored seven goals and conceded only one so far.

Sportz Point | Chhetri

Chhetri hopes to break more records in this historic semi-final (Image- Sportz Point)

India, on the other hand, finished second in Group A, marginally behind Kuwait on goal difference. They drew 1-1 with Kuwait in their last group match, with Sunil Chhetri scoring his fourth goal of the tournament in the injury time of the first half. However, an own goal by Anwar Ali in the closing stages of the game denied India a win. India has garnered a lot of home support in the tournament with the stadium largely being packed and they will look to ride on that support to another final.

"Yes, there can be an issue for them (without Igor Stimac). But, I think the assistant coach will manage everything. Although, they might miss him on the touch line because he will not be able to give direct instructions".

India vs Lebanon | Sportz Point

Lebanon coach is confident before the semi-final match (Image- Sportz Point)

I believe the Indian team have players for every position. But, without the defenders (Jhingan and Rahim Ali) it will be tough for them. Although I don't think they will be weaker side without them.

"We would like to score first against India" said the Lebanon coach.

Team News:

Lebanon:

Replacing Antoine Al Douaihy under the sticks in the last game, Al-Faisaly goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil did well to keep a clean sheet and hence is likely to retain his place in the side. The backline of Hussein Zein, Walid Shour, Maxime Aoun and Abdul Razzak Dakramanji is also unlikely to be tweaked.

However, Ilic could make changes elsewhere on the pitch. Hassan Kourani did not look too convincing against the Maldives, and he might have to make way for Ali Tneich, whereas, in the attacking department, Zein Farran and Sadek could be replaced by Haj and Bader.

India:

Stimac carried out quite a few experiments in the last match, including changing formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2, but he is likely to return to basics for this match, although the Croatian tactician will not be on the sidelines after being shown a red card against Kuwait. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is almost guaranteed to replace Amrinder Singh, while in defense, Anwar might have to make way for Rahul Bheke.

Sportz Point

India team trains before the big match (Image- Sportz Point)

Jeakson Singh looked quite comfortable in midfield and could retain his place over Rohit Kumar, but the same cannot be said about Ashique Kuruniyan. Instead, Sahal Abdul Samad could be handed a place in midfield, with Chhetri being the lone striker.

Head to Head:

  • In eight matches played between them, Lebanon have a superior record with three wins while India have managed two wins, and three games have been drawn.
  • The most recent encounter took place in the 2023 Intercontinental Cup Final where the Blue Tigers won 2-0. 
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Image- Sportz Point

India vs Lebanon: Predicted Lineups:

Lebanon: Ali Sabeh (GK), Hussein Zein, Mohammad El Hayek, Jihad Ayoub, Hassan Saad, Walid Chouar, Ali Tneich, Zein Abidine Farran, Hassan Maatouk, Nader Matar, Karim Darwiche

India: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra; Anirudh Thapa, Jeakson Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Sahal Abdul Samad, Muhammad Kruniyan, Lallianzualla Changte

Indian Football Saff Championship