Hosts Bangladesh might miss their captain Jamal Bhuyan in their crucial Group A Bangabandhu Gold Cup clash against Sri Lanka today as the midfielder was yet for fully recover from an injury.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have lost their opening games to holders and Group A front-runners Palestine by identical 0-2 margin.
As a result, the winner of today’s last Group A match will join Palestine in the semi-finals of the six-nation competition.
According to the bylaws of the tournament, if the match ends in a draw in the stipulated time, the results will be decided in tie-breaker.
In terms of previous results and rankings, Bangladesh (187th) are firm favourites to beat Sri Lanka (205th) as Bangladesh have come out victorious 10 times in both sides’ previous 16 games, losing only four while the remaining two matches ended in a draw.
Jamal suffered a hamstring injury on his left thigh during their match against Palestine and could not attend the team’s training session on Saturday.
The Bangladesh captain was still in a lot of pain on his injured leg and said he would take the final decision of playing this morning.
‘The probability of my playing is now 75 per cent…Still there is pain and facing difficulties of my leg movement,’ Jamal told the reporters while sitting aside from training at the Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club playground.
‘I will try to run again tomorrow [today] morning. If I do not feel pain, I will play.’
Jamal also believed that his side was stronger than Sri Lanka as in their recent five meetings, Bangladesh registered four victories against one loss against the Lankans.
‘Our team is stronger than them [Sri Lanka]. So we have good chance of a win,’ he said.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day said that he was not sure about Jamal’s participation in today’s match but was still optimistic for a win.
‘Preparation is good. Obviously, we are eyeing to win against Sri Lanka,’ said the Englishman.
‘We are not sure about him [Jamal]. It depends on him,’ Day added.
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