Despite defending champions India staring their defence of their SAFF Cup campaign in style against Sri Lanka, India’s coach Stephen Constantine has warned his side against complacency as his wards square off against Maldives in the last group league match.

“In this competition, we are not going to start as favourites in any of our matches,” said Constantine. “We are a young and inexperienced side and we are playing against senior sides. We can say we have a good chance to win this game. But I don’t feel we can be labelled as favourites before the kick-off,” he stated.

India have got the better of Maldives 13 times out of 18, whereas Maldives have won only twice. The last time the two teams met in the SAFF Championship was in the semi-final of the 2015-16 when India rode on a Jeje Lalpekhlua brace and a Sunil Chhetri strike to prevail 3-2.

However, Constantine said that ‘history’ won’t play any part when the two teams meet tomorrow.

“I am not a person who loves to focus on history too much. Obviously, it’s nice to look back to find that we have beaten them 13 times. But such facts don’t matter at all,” he maintained.

“Tomorrow we are playing against a completely different Maldives team and they’re also going to face a different India team whom they played last time. Had we won those 13 matches against the same set of players, that would have given us an edge.”

Maldives played a goalless draw against Sri Lanka in their tournament opener and will be in desperate hunt for that elusive point which will lift them into the semi-finals.

The match is scheduled to be played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.