The reigning champions can climb up into the top five in the standings and above their rivals with a win.

As the Hero I-League approaches its final leg, Shillong Lajong FC will be looking to scavenge as many points as possible when they take on current champions – Aizawl FC in what is promised to be a thrilling match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Monday at 8:00 P.M.

Shillong Lajong FC and Aizawl FC are placed at 5th and 6th on the points table respectively with 18 points each and it will be interesting to see which of these two teams will emerge victorious in what fans are already calling a battle of the north-east on Monday.

However, the new-look Aizawl FC who drew with Indian Arrows in their last outing are determined to thwart their opponents and come up on top.

“We do not underestimate Shillong Lajong as they are a very good side,” said Aizawl coach Santosh Kashyap at the pre-match press conference in Shillong today. “However, we will not hold back and will try our hardest to win the three points,” he added.

On being asked if the weather would prove to be a disadvantage for his team, Kashyap replied, “Actually no, the weather is almost the same as in Aizawl; conditions are almost the same and even Lajong’s playing style is almost the same. So I don’t think that we are at a disadvantage.”

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“The foreigners are also the ones to look out for. They have good experience and skill. But we need to stay positive and try our best. We have made a few changes in the lineup for tomorrow’s match due to injuries. We will see how it goes tomorrow,’’ concluded Kashyap.

“This is a very important match for us. It is like a final for us and we can’t take it lightly. We need to be confident and we need to stay positive in order to win the 3 points. It is a very crucial game for us,” said Lajong asst. coach Alison Kharsyntiew on being asked about his thoughts on the upcoming match.

“We have been training a lot these past few days. We have been working on our defence, offence and finishing skills as well as trying to recover as best as we can in order to avoid injuries. We are lucky we have no injuries on the team right now.,” said Kharsyntiew.

On being asked about the noticeably weak defence of the Shillong-based team, Alison replied, “Defence is not a problem, we need to alternate between defence and offence. We cannot defend for 90 minutes. We need to take chances and attack as well as try to equalise.”

“We are confident for tomorrow and we need to stay sharp for the rest of the 90 minutes as a win tomorrow will indeed give the team the confidence they need,’’ concluded Kharsyntiew.

All in all, Monday’s match looks promising as it will involve the two north-east clubs vying for the chance to prove their skills on the pitch. It will be interesting to see which of these two clubs will walk away as the winner.

The match is scheduled at 08:00 PM and it’ll be telecast live on Star Sports 2/2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.