Kuwait vs India Match Analysis & Prediction
16/11/2023 7:30 pm
Kuwait and India will both be looking to kick off their World Cup 2026 qualifying campaigns with a victory when they meet in Group A on Thursday.
This game will be a repeat of the South Asian Football Federation Championship final in June, which India won on penalties after the two sides drew 1-1.
With eight guaranteed spots at the upcoming expanded World Cup up for grabs from Asia’s section alone, Kuwait will fancy their chances of competing in North America in less than three year’s time.
Kuwait are currently led by former Boavista manager Rui Bento, who was appointed in August 2022. Results have generally improved under his management, with 10 wins from 17 matches across all competitions, but it is now when he will truly be judged with reaching a World Cup on the line.
Although recent World Cup hosts Qatar will be expected to dominate Group A, two teams will progress to the ext round of qualifying, making Kuwait’s home encounter with India a cruciak one.
Although India are ranked higher than Kuwait in FIFA’s world rankings, there is little doubt that Kuwait boast a greater footballing heritage, while Afghanistan could be the whipping boys of the section.
Indeed, the Blue Tigers’ opening qualifying game against Kuwait is unlikely to even be noticed by the majority of India’s cricket-mad population, given that they are currently hosting the Cricket World Cup.
However, former Croatia manager Igor Stimac has made significant progress since being appointed as India’s head coach in May 2019, taking them from their lowest-ever position of 173rd up to 102nd in FIFA’s most recently published world rankings. This is just eight spots shy of their highest-ever ranking, which was set in 1996.
As such, there is growing belief that India have a chance of qualifying for their first-ever World Cup, having reached the Asian Cup for the first time in 2011.
Although India’s form has not been great heading into this qualification campaign with recent defeats to Iraq, Lebanon and Malaysia likely to have dented confidence somewhat, they remain the second-highest ranked team in Group A.
Kuwait vs. India Head to head
In the three previous meetings between these two teams, they have each claimed one victory while drawing once.
16/11/2023KuwaitN/AIndiaN/AAFC World Cup Qualifiers
Kuwait Team News
Kuwait’s goalscoring hopes are likely to predominantly rest on Shabaib Al-Khaldi’s shoulders, with the 25-year-old hoping to move onto double figures after scoring against India in the SAFF Championship final in June.
Fahad Al Hajeri, who plies his trade for Al-Kuwait at club level, will expect to captain the team from the centre of defence.
Kuwait's Last 5 Matches
India Team News
India will almost certainly be led by their legendary player Sunil Chhetri, the most capped player with 143 appearances and counting and their record goalscorer with 93 goals.
All of Stimac’s squad are domestic-based in the Indian Super League, with vice-captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu the next most experinced player on 65 caps.
India's Last 5 Matches
Kuwait vs. India: Odds and Predictions
1000% Super Multi Bonus
Up to 10 times (1000%) larger winnings on bets placed during Happy HourCLAIM BONUS