The Punjab outfit has scored only one goal in their last five matches…
After a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Kolkata giants East Bengal, Minerva Punjab FC will be hoping for at least a point when they lock horns with Goan outfit Churchill Brothers in the I-League at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Churchill will be high on confidence after defeating title favourites Bengaluru FC in the last match. Churchill tactician Alfred Fernandes will be looking to continue their fantastic form and would like to add another three points in their kitty.
The hosts have no injuries or suspensions but manager Surinder Singh is yet to settle on his strongest starting XI. Following another defeat, he could well ring in the changes.
The Churchill coach is most likely to go with the same starting XI which earned him maximum points against Bengaluru FC in the last match. However, he might also think of including newly signed Malian striker A. Kroma in the squad to strengthen their strike force.
This will be the first time when both the teams will face each other as Minerva have made their debut this season.
Man to Watch
Chesterpaul Lyngdoh-Churchill Brothers: The winger, who can drift to either flank when needed, is a product of the Pune FC Academy. The 19-year old is getting groomed under head coach Alfred positively. Chester has given many outstanding performances in the Goa Professional League for his side and is now continuing the same form after getting a place in the starting XI in the last three games. He played a crucial role in the victory in the last game against reigning champions Bengaluru FC as it was his perfect long pass for Anthony Wolfe who converted, scoring the opening goal for Churchill. Later in the game, Chester made no mistake to convert the pinpoint assist of Wolfe and confirmed first three points for his side. The Minerva backline will have a tough time when Chester will have the ball at his feet as the winger is brilliant at dribbling past the opponents and with his pace, he can easily win the ball in 50-50 situations.
Germanpreet Singh- Minerva Punjab FC: The midfielder who was recently given a cap in the national side against Puerto Rico has been playing an excellent role for Minerva in the middle of the park. The ex- Dempo SC player is slowly gelling up with the team and trying to continue his form from the GPL season. The 20-year-old is known for powerful shots from distance to surprise the opposition keeper. He is also brilliant at set-pieces and has already scored some stunners for his previous team. With Minerva’s forward line not working, Germanpreet will have to give his best if Minerva are looking to get at least a point from this encounter.
Churchill Brothers (4-5-1): Priyant (GK), Khan, Cardozo, Rodrigues, Almeida, Mollick, Costa, Bektur, Kroma, Lyngdoh (U22), Wolfe.
Minerva Punjab FC (4-1-4-1): Arnab (GK), Shaikh, Germanpreet, Filatov, Souvik, Arashpreet, Simranjeet, Nurain, Mandeep, Thapa, Amobi.
The match will be telecast live on Ten 2 from 4.35 PM. You can also follow live text commentary of the game on www.khelnow.com.
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