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India name 20-man squad

New Delhi: While Sunil Chhetri will lead the attack, his strike partner Jeje Lalpekhlua will be missed, as the latter failed to figure in coach Wim Koevermans’ 20-man Nehru Cup squad amid doubts that the striker is not match-fit.

Midfielders Joaquim Abranches and Rocus Lamare were the other notable names missing, with the Dutchman preferring to go with promising under-22 players Alwyn George and Manandeep Singh.

Once touted as the future of Indian football after his exploits in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers last year, Jeje did not play a full match in the AFC U-22 Championship. In the first game against Lebanon, the striker from Mizoram had to be substituted after 20 minutes of play, while he could come in only towards the end in the latter matches.

As far as the formation is concerned, it will be a departure from Bob Houghton’s 4-4-2 configuration. Koevermans will most likely employ a 4-2-3-1 formation with Chhetri being the lone man up front.

“I’m confident in the abilities of my boys,” Koevermans stressed. “The practice sessions have been good. It’s nice to see the boys pushing each other,” he added. (PTI)

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