The day we were all waiting for is finally here! India are all set to participate in their first ever FIFA World Cup encounter. The hosts are the underdogs in the tournament, but that doesn't stop the fans or the players from dreaming big as football always depends on what one does in the 90 minutes on the pitch.
AIFF have already invested heavily in the team, arranging various games in various conditions around the globe in the hope of making them a little more resilient. And now after playing around 100 games in the last two years, India are in the best possible shape to face an impressive USA side.
Coach Norton De Matos will be gunning for a brilliant performance by his team and based on the form and fitness of the players, this is how India could line-up against the USA.
Sanjeev Stalin(LB): The Arsenal fan is India's prime set-piece specialist. His awareness and work-rate are his two biggest assets and is also not shy of pulling out the odd-spectacular shot on goal.
Boris Singh(RB): One of the 8 Manipuri players in the squad, Boris has always banked on his pace to get him out of tricky situations. And his team would need him at his best if they are to dominate through the wings.
Anwar Ali(LCB): The only Punjab based outfield player in the squad has looked up to Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos throughout his playing days. And like his idol, he's also a threat from set pieces.
Jitendra Singh(RCB): Jitendra, one of the three players representing West Bengal in the 21-man squad, has been playing with the squad for a little over two years. He's been preparing for this day all his life, and would most certainly put up a spirited performance tonight.
Amarjit Singh(LCM): The captain of the squad is also one of the finest in his position. A fine blend of calm and fierce, the Manipuri talent will have a crucial role to play tonight if India are to come out of the tie, unscathed.
Suresh Singh(RCM): Suresh will accompany the Indian team's captain Amarjit Singh in the middle of the park. The duo almost has a telepathic connection on the field and coach De Matos would be hoping they bring their 'A' game tonight.
Komal Thatal(LM/LW): Perhaps the most exciting player in the squad would be hoping to replicate some the magic he weaved against Brazil in the BRICS tournament last year. His pace and the ability to take on defenders makes him one of the deadliest players in the Indian squad.
Jeakson Singh(RM/RW): Not many wingers are fans of Sergio Busquets. But this Minerva U-16 captain looks up to Barcelona man for his composure on the ball. He also has some pace to burn and would love to take on some defenders on his own.
Abhijit Sarkar(ST): This boy from Bengal is the Indian team's main goalscorer and target man. He boasts an impressive record of 7 goals in 19 games. He worships Cristiano Ronaldo but has based his game on composure and simplicity rather than explosiveness.
Aniket Jadav(ST): This Barcelona fan has trained and played for Pune FC all his life. Jadhav banks on link-up play more than goalscoring and is capable of complimenting Abhijit up top.
India do have a squad capable of pulling out something extraordinary out of the bag. But having a good squad and replicating the same on the field isn't the same. Can they pull off the improbable? We'll have the answer when the ball rolls at 8 PM tonight.