The newly-promoted outfit are chasing an unlikely title while Floyd Pinto’s men have impressed many this season.
AIFF’s developmental side Indian Arrows are all set to face Real Kashmir FC who are vying to win the title in their debut season itself at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar tomorrow (February 24, 2019).
While the visitors are placed third on the points table 5 points shy of the toppers Chennai City FC, a win would only bring them closer to realising their title dream. The match is slated for a 2 PM kick-off.
In the first leg, Real Kashmir churned out a comfortable 2-0 win over the youngsters but since then Floyd Pinto has worked hard on his team and that has resulted in some great results for the youngsters against some formidable opponents. Their last draw against Gokulam FC along with a stellar defence line will only add to the confidence level of the young Indian Arrows.
The Arrows are now placed 8th with 17 points from 18 games, thanks to 5 wins and two draws. What also adds to their favour is the fact that they have had five clean sheets this season.
Indian Arrows coach Floyd Pinto said, “It’s not going to be an easy game for sure. They are one of the teams who are in contention to win the I-League this season and this game is a must-win game for them. We must keep ourselves organised and stick to the basics to win the three points.”
“We hope to grab another three points and finish as high as possible in this season”, he added further.
Debutants Real Kashmir FC, on the other hand, are having a dream run in their opening season and if they win on Sunday, they would leapfrog Quess East Bengal to the second spot with 35 points from 17 games.
Real Kashmir coach David Robertson said, “Our preparation has been going good. We haven’t played for almost three weeks and now we are looking forward to another difficult game.”
“Thankfully we have no injury scares. They are a tough team and we experienced it when we played last time at the TRC ground in Srinagar. Although we won, it was a very tough match for us”, Robertson analysed his opponents.
“We are moving forward and it will be a very very difficult team to break down and score against. I think if we defend well we can get the three points. We have got an aspiration to not break our unbeaten run from the last 12 games, and if we can continue this result, you never know, what’s in store for us”, gaffer sounded optimistic.
While on one hand, the stellar defence line of the Indian Arrows aptly backed by Prabhsukhan Gill under the woodwork has been one of the toughest deadlocks to crack this season, Real Kashmir FC have been known for a stupendous run on the road.
The Snow Leopards have so far remained unbeaten away from their home and that would boost their confidence by a huge margin.
With likes of Krizo, Loveday, Katebe and Mason Roberston in the ranks for Real Kashmir FC, it would be interesting to watch how the I-League debutants would stop the young Indian Arrows from playing the attacking football that the youngsters have been playing for a while.
The Arrows do not have any major injury concerns at the moment, however, tactical changes are expected from them.
Real Kashmir FC
The Snow Leopards also do not have any absentees going into the game.
Gill (GK), Boris, Anwar, Jitendra, Rai, Lalengmawia, Kiyam, Meetei, Jadhav, Rahim, Rahul
Real Kashmir FC
Bilal (GK), Ravanan, Katebe, Loveday, Thapa, Surchandra, Ganie, Armand, Danish, Robertson, Krizo
The match will kick-off at 2 PM at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday. It will be streamed by Hotstar and Jio TV.