After putting out 2 amazing performances, India have 3 points and currently sit in 2nd place in Group A with a Goal Difference of +2. That puts India in a very strong position to qualify, with only a point needed for confirmation. The Blue Tigers are naturally a defensive side and getting at least a draw against Bahrain is a realistic possibility.
Side note: I've got the result prediction of both Indian games right so far
Tactically similar to Thailand, Bahrain will also look to push their full-backs high up the pitch. Their central midfield pair is also a little weak with their positioning and there will be spaces that open up between the central players and wide players. India will find a lot of joy, if they can put out another performance similar to the previous two.
I used goals scored, goals conceded and history of these teams over the last two years to simulate the next two games 10k times. As it stands, India will need to avoid defeat to Bahrain and hope that UAE beat Thailand to progress in second place. There are many outcomes so I thought that I would explain them all in detail.
So, to further breakdown the results for you,
If India win,
Chances of India win: 33%
Chances of India automatically qualifying if we win: 100%
India will go through to the second round. If UAE also win, India go through in second place. If UAE lose or draw, India will go through as group winners.
Probability of India winning and finishing top: 9%
Probability of India winning finishing second: 23%
If India draw,
Chances of India drawing against Bahrain: 38%
Chances of India qualifying if we draw: 100%
(Automatic qualification: 37%)
India will go through to the second round, if UAE also win or draw. In this case, India go through in second place. If Thailand win and India draw, India will finish in third place.
If we draw, we cannot finish first or last.
Probability of India drawing & finishing second: 33%
Probability of India drawing & finishing third: 4%
If India lose,
Chances of India losing to Bahrain: 28%
Chances of India qualifying if we draw: Depends on Results in other groups
If we lose we will need other results to go our way. India can finish in third place if Thailand also lose. If Thailand get a draw or a win, we will be the best team to be knocked out of the tournament.
If we lose, we cannot finish first or second.
Probability of India losing & finishing third: 20%
Probability of India losing & finishing last: 8%
The Best of The Rest
If India finish 3rd, we will go into the mix with the other teams that finished third. That table currently looks like this,
It looks like 3 points and a positive GD will be enough to qualify as one of the best place 4th team. What this means that if India can at least draw, then we are guaranteed of going through as one of the best place fourth team as only Syria (or Palestine!) can get to 4 points from the rest of the teams. Even if we lose, if we can lose by less than 2 goals maintain at least a -1 GD, then we will be unlucky not to go through.
As India are most likely to qualify, I thought it would be important to see who we would face in the Round of 16 (Most likely opponent in Bold)
If India finish 1st: Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Vietnam, Yemen, North Korea, Lebanon
If India finish 2nd: China, South Korea
If India finish 3rd: Australia, Jordan, Syria, China, South Korea
Really interesting results as we've played all 3 of the teams we're most likely to face in the recent past.
Spot a fault in the numbers? Please let me know, @SgtSaltnpeppa