India vs Iraq Live Streaming King's Cup 2023

 India vs Iraq Live Streaming King's Cup 2023: The Indian national football team will be aiming to continue its successful streak this year as it prepares to take on Iraq in the first semi-final of the 49th King's Cup at Chiang Mai's 700th-anniversary Stadium in Thailand on Thursday. India have participated in three competitions in the current year, emerging victorious in all of them; these include the Tri-Nation International Friendly Football Tournament, the Intercontinental Cup, and the SAFF Championship. Across these three tournaments, India remained unbeaten in 11 games and secured victory in seven of them. This impressive performance also propelled India into the top 100 of the FIFA Rankings. Nonetheless, India face a formidable challenge against Iraq in Thailand, as the side is presently the highest-ranked team participating in the King's Cup, sitting 29 places above India in the FIFA Rankings. The victor of the semi-final will go on to face the winner of the second semi-final, where the host nation, Thailand, squares off against Lebanon. Notably, India will be taking the field without its talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri.

The King's Cup is a short knockout format tournament between four teams - Thailand (hosts, rank 113), Lebanon (rank 100), India (rank 99) and Iraq (rank 70). Iraq are the clear favourites for the tournament as the seventh-highest ranked team in Asia, while India (18), Lebanon (19) and Thailand (21) are of a relatively equal level.

India have faced Iraq on six occasions in their history, drawing twice and losing four while having never defeated their opponents. Stimac is aware of their quality, saying "I hope that we're going to give everything on the pitch to do something good against a strong side like Iraq, who are Arabian Gulf Cup champions. After beating Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, they are one of the clear favourites in the upcoming Asian Cup. So it's going to be very difficult for us, but I hope our boys will enjoy the game."

However, Jesus Casas, coach of Iraq and once of Cadiz's youth-team when Stimac featured for the senior side from 1992-1994, rates India quite highly, saying "India are not easy. We have watched their matches. They are a very good team, very organised. They know a lot of ways to attack. They can play short ball and long ball. But our target is to win this tournament and prepare for the World Cup qualifiers."

India's recent form, having won three tournaments in 2023 (Tri-Nations Cup, Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship), has raised expectations. It's a long way away from India's last appearance in the King's Cup in 2019 - which was Stimac's first tournament in charge of India. The Croatian acknowledged the evolution of the team, saying "It's been four years since the last time we participated here. It was a really great experience for our young team at the beginning of our work. We are four years older now. We have a clearer picture about our capacities and possibilities, and what India can do and achieve."

In Sunil Chhetri's absence, all eyes are on Lallianzuala Chhangte to shoulder the goal-scoring burden, with the AIFF Player of the Year looking forward to the game, saying "We are not just here to participate but to win. We are approaching this tournament seriously. Our first match against Iraq is going to be very difficult. I hope we can come up with a positive result. We are ready for the challenge."

India vs Iraq Starting XI

 India XI: Gurpreet Singh, Anwar Ali, Sandesh Jhingan, Akash Mishra, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Manvir Singh, Jeakson Singh, Mahesh Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Ashique Kuruniyan.

 Iraq XI: Jalal Hassan, Hussein Ali, Rebin Sulaka, Frans Dhia Putros, Merchas Doski, Osama Rashid, Amir Al Ammari, Hussein Ali, Ibrahim Bayesh, Bashar Resan, Ali Al-Hamadi


Igor Stimac and his team will be trying to be as prepared as possible for their encounter against Iraq after winning three titles in a row this year. They are the best team in this competition, with a world ranking of 70th. In January of this year, they defeated Qatar and Oman to win the 2023 Gulf Cup.

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