The hosts have only managed two draws in six matches in the top flight this season…
Minerva Punjab FC are set to face a crucial game in the I-Lreage when they take on fellow strugglers Mumbai FC at Guru Nanak Stadium Ludhiana, Punjab on Saturday. The hosts have been battered in their previous games suffering heavy defeats at the hands of the Kolkata clubs. With just two draws from six outings they are firmly rooted to the bottom of the table and need to start picking up wins soon.
Mumbai FC, on the other hand, are themselves on a downward spiral having lost four games on the trot. In their last match the Mumbaikars lost against league leaders East Bengal. Manager Santosh Kashyap will be looking for his men to get back to winning ways against the bottom club.
There is no injury issues for Minerva Punjab FC. All the players are fit to start and have practiced on Friday morning.
For Mumbai, striker Victorino Fernandes, who suffered a concussion in the last match doubtful for this match. Thoi Singh also misses out with injury.
Head to Head
This is the first time both the teams are facing each other in the top flight of Indian football
Surinder Singh: The Minerva boss is conscious of the need to score goals. “We got chances in the game (against Churchill Brothers). But the ball wasn’t put in the back of the net. He also requested the club’s fans to turn out in large numbers to support the team. “Last time there was a good crowd. Boys played well last time. I expect more people to come and motivate our boys to perform well. With home support, they can get three points tomorrow as well. I request our Punjabi sisters and brothers to come and watch the game and back the team.”
Santosh Kashyap: After four defeats on the bounce Mumbai manager Santosh Kashyap knows his team also need a win to get their season back on track. “Yes, Off course we are coming with three defeats, it put us under pressure and we’ll surely try to win three points.” But, Kashyap is also not underestimating the bottom club. “Our downfall started after our defeats against big teams. Now it’s tough to face a new team like Minerva Punjab FC, fighting side.”
Man to Watch
Mandeep Singh-Minerva Punjab: The striker who has been around the Indian circket was brought in by Minerva to add goals to the team, but is yet to find his scoring boots. With directness and pace he remains a key player for the Punjab outfit and he will be keen to fire his team to success against the Mumbai outfit.
Steven Dias-Mumbai FC: The Midfielder will play a key role in his team’s attacking plans. A veteran at 33, Dias has still been the main creative influence for a flaky Mumnai team that has flattered to deceive. With his ability to find the final ball and a wide range of passing he is the orchastrater of Mumbai’s attack. With loads of experience in Indian football, Steven is easily the man to watch for the Yellow Brigade.
Minerva Punjab (4-1-4-1): Arnab (GK), Shaikh, Germanpreet, Filatov, Souvik, Arashpreet, Simranjeet, Nurain, Mandeep, Thapa, Amobi.
Mumbai FC: (4-1-4-1): Sawant (Gk) , Fernandes, Akhtar , Hanghal , R. Singh Rao, Nikhil Kadum, Sharma, Shirodkar.
Catch the game live at 4:35 P.M on Ten 2 from Guru Nanak Stadium, Punjab.
For more interesting insights on Indian football, click here!