Team India will be taking on a strong Oman national team in an international friendly at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat at 13.30 local time (15.00 IST) tomorrow.
For the hosts Oman it is part of their preparations for their final 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Thailand on February 29, while India is using the match as part of its ongoing preparatory camp in Dubai for the upcoming 2012 AFC Challenge Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal. India have another international friendly lined-up against Azerbaijan on February 27 in Dubai.
India coach Savio Medeira isn't willing to risk fielding a full-strength side. Keeping in mind the future challenges ahead he has decided to rest AIFF Player-of-the-Year Sunil Chhetri, winger Lalrindika Ralte and stopper Nirmal Chetri. "All of them have some niggles. We are here to prepare for the AFC Challenge Cup. I don't want to risk them in an international friendly against Oman. The more time they get, the more will they recover," said Savio.
In fact Savio plans to experimenting a bit in this match. "We have plenty of young talented players who are eager to perform at the big stage. Our emphasis would be to find the right mix of players keeping our future endeavors in mind," Savio maintained.
In the FIFA world rankings Oman are currently ranked 95 and were winners of the 2009 Gulf Cup at home. "They are a superior side. They are much more technically equipped. We need to keep in mind they would be playing on their home ground and would have a home support," Savio added.
The Omani's are being coached by former French international Paul le Guen since June 2011, who coached at Stade Renne, Olympique Lyonnais, Glasgow Rangers, FC Paris Saint-Germain before going on to coach Cameroon at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The biggest name in Omani football is in goal in their goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, who currently plays for Wigan Athletic and has years of English Premier League experience.
The match will kick-off at 13.30 local time (15.00 IST) and there will be shown a live telecast on TenAction+.