The Reds will be looking to make it four wins in a row…
After a hat-trick of wins at home, Shillong Lajong will aim to retain the winning mantra, when they will take on Churchill Brothers in the I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday.
After three defeats at the start of the season Lajong have made the most of home advantage to win three games on the trot and they will look to make it four against the Red Machines.
The visitors themselves are experiencing an upturn in form aand are undefeated in their last three games. However, the trip to the northeast could be akward for the Goan outfit.
The hosts have no injuries or suspensions and manager Thangboi Siingto has a full squad to pick from. However, he’s unlikely to tweak the winning formula.
Brandon Fernandes and Fulgango Cardozo are carry knocks and a call on their availability will be taken on Sunday morning.
Head to Head
Both these teams will be facing each other for the 13th time. In most of the previous encounters, the team from Goa had the last laugh with eight wins against Shillong Lajong’s two. Two matches ended with a draw.
Thangboi Singto-Shillong Lajong: Though winning always renders that extra motivation, it’s a thing of the past now and we have a new match to play tomorrow.”
Despite his side’s recent successes, Singto has continued to maintain a very cautious approach to each tie and has yet again warned his players against complacency.“People might think that Churchill have had little time to prepare (and will be easy to beat), but they have a good bunch of footballers in their ranks and it will be a tough game.”
However, the composed Lajong head coach also gave full credit to his boys stating, “I have full confidence on the team at the moment.”
Replying to a query, Singto admitted that at times a bit of complacency does seep in to his young side once the team is ahead. “I think this is something which would change once they gain some more game experience later in the league, Singto said.
Denzil Ferrao-Churchill Brothers: Churchill Brothers manager Denzil Ferrao, meanwhile, said the upcoming tie will be a tough outing for his quickly-knit unit to tackle the Reds at home but the boys will give it their all.
Ferrao revealed that the season has been very challenging for his side which was put together barely five days before the start of the I-League.
“Getting the combination right has been pretty difficult so far but I am sure we will do well as the season progresses,” he mentioned.
Man to Watch
Aser Dipanda Dicka-Shillong Lajong: With five goals already to his name Dicka is of paramount importance to his side’s attack and Lajong will be hoping that he can showcase a similar form like in the last game against Chennai City, in which he finished with a brace.
Anthony Wolfe-Churchill Brothers: This striker is not a stranger to Goan football. After successfull spells with Churchill Brothers and Sporting Goa in the past, Wolfe is the sole striker upfront for the Red Machines this season and the forward is starting to find form which is vital for his team.
Shillong Lajong: Kaith (GK), N. Tamang, K Singh, S.Singh, Shadap, Kinowaki, Nongrum, Vanmalsawma, Dicka, Lalmampuia, Tlang.
Churchill Brothers: Priyant (GK), Rodrigues, Almeida, Khan, Brandon, Wolfe, Bektur, Lyngdoh, Cardozo, Mollick, Costa.
The match will be telecast live on Ten 2 from 4.30 PM IST. You can also follow live commentary of the game on Khelnow.com.