Booters' Nepal test today | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 04, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 04, 2011

Booters' Nepal test today

Coach to tinker with formation, line-up


Bangladesh coach Nikola Ilievski will have his work cut out against Nepal today. Photo: courtesy

Bangladesh will be looking to lift their game in a bid to advance to the semifinals of the SAFF Championship when they take on resurgent Nepal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium today.
A lacklustre draw against Pakistan in their opening match leaves little option for Bangladesh but to win this crucial Group B encounter against a side they have won all six of their previous encounters.
However, the Red and Green can ill afford to bask on the memories of their past success, especially after the performance the Himalayan nation put on in their first match holding Maldives to a 1-1 draw.
Bangladesh's coach Nikola Ilievski knows full well that this Nepal side are a dangerous proposition as he along with his charges watched the Nepal-Maldives match praised the Nepalese for their quick movement, ball control and the ability to create goal-scoring chances.
The Macedonian has drawn out a specific strategy to stop the speedy Nepal side from penetrating, especially through the left wing where they are comparatively stronger.
And that prompts Ilievski to shift to a 4-4-2 formation from usual 4-3-3, with left-back Nasirul Islam playing ahead of right-back Mamun Mia meaning that Ilievski will field five of his defensive players while leaving captain Mohammad Sujan on the bench.
“Nepalese players are quick and play fast and muster shots from long distance. They are also strong in left flank with number 7 (Bijoy Garung) penetrating the defence. That's why I need a speedy player like Mamun Mia from the beginning in the right back position,” explained Ilievski.
Apart from Mamun's inclusion, the Macedonian coach is expected to bring three more changes to the starting eleven as he looks to adopt a defensive strategy in the first half. Striking duo Abdul Malek and Towhidul Alam are expected to start in place Zahid Hasan Emily and Shah Alamgir Anik while Atiqur Rahman Meshu is set to start the match as the left-back.
The 57-year old coach hinted that he would first defend his own territory and then go attack from the second half.
“I am certainly making the formation for win,” Ilievski said. “I will try Emily and Mithun in the second half as I want the boys play together in the second half.”
Nepal coach Graham Roberts is upbeat after the performance against Maldives and said they were only thinking of their own game.
“We played better football than Maldives and our motivation would be to repeat it against Bangladesh” said the British born coach.
Probable squad: Sahidul Alam Sohel (GK), Ariful Islam (captain), Rezaul Karim, Mamun Mia, Nasirul Islam, Atiqur Rahman Meshu, Mamunul Islam, Pranotosh Kumar, Abdul Baten Komol, Abdul Malek and Towhidul Alam.

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