Both teams are struggling to score goals…
The first encounter between Shillong Lajong and Minerva Punjab FC in the I-League will take place at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday.
The hosts are bottom of the table and have conceded seven goals scoring just one. They were edged out by regional rivals Aizawl FC in their last outing.
On the other hand, Minerva are in 8th position and come to Shillong after a hammering by title contenders Mohun Bagan in their last match.
Both teams are set to be right in the thick of the relegation scrap this season.
Midfielder Zodlingliana Ralte lasted only 30 minutes in the defeat to Aizawl before being sustituted through injury. He remains a doubt ahead of this clash.
First choice keeper Ravi Kumar missed the trip to Kolkata with injury and remains doubtful for this one.
Head to Head
This is the first occasion that both the teams will meet each other in the I-League.
Man to Watch
Fabio Pena-Shillong Lajong: Brazilian forward Fabio Pena will be a huge threat during the set-pieces and his hold up play will allow the midfielders to make runs inside the box. He is of paramount importance to the side’s attack and Lajong will be hoping that he can regain the form of last season and be more consistent this time around.
Joel Sunday-Minerva Punjab: The Punjab outfit have failed to score in any of their games so far. They need their foreign starts to step up if their season is to turn around. One among them is former FC Bardez striker Joel Sunday. The versatile forward can hold the ball up as well as being able to play with the ball at his feet. But, he needs to find his scoring boots as his the team looks up to him for goals and leadership.
Shillong Lajong: Kaith (GK), N. Tamang, C.Konsham, Zodingliana, Pena, Dicka, Chhakchhuak, S. Pritam Singh, Kinowaki, Bipon Singh, Ignat.
Minerva Punjab: Kamaljit, Devrani, Ramandeep, Vishal, Enynnaya, Thapa, Germanpreet, Oram, Rai, Manandeep, Sunday.