In a series of articles, The Times of India’s football writer Ajay Singh discusses the options for India as the 2022 FIFA World Cups approach and the implications of their participation in the tournament.
The two sides will play a group stage against each other on November 6 and 8, and then play a second round match on December 7 against Pakistan.
Both teams are expected to win the two-legged semi-finals.
The final will be played on January 26.
India has been the most consistent team in World Cup qualifying, with the only other team to qualify from Group A being the Netherlands.
But they have also lost in each of their past four qualifiers, meaning their chances of progressing to the knockout stages of the tournament remain slim.
India have also struggled to score goals this season, as they have scored just two in their five group stage matches.
India are expected, however, to make a strong start to their qualifying campaign and should be able to defend their title.
The side have been without a winning start in their two previous World Cups.
India had a record-breaking run of 17 wins in all competitions from 2001-02 to 2004-05, winning the Asian Cup in 2002 and the Asian Football Confederation Cup in 2004.
India have also qualified for the last four World Cups and reached the last 16 in 2008.
India’s last World Cup appearance came in 1998, when they were defeated by Italy.