The Blues will need to re-invent themselves to garner points against Khalid Jamil’s Aizawl…
Khalid Jamil’s side are sitting pretty at 3rd spot in the I-League table while their more illustrious opponents have a mountain to climb with their 5th place-position.
The former Mumbai FC gaffer has had a colourful history during his time with the Mumbaikars whenever they squared off against Bengaluru. This will no doubt add spice to the encounter when his current club Aizawl FC take on the reigning I-League champions Bengaluru FC in Mizoram.
5 wins in 8 games for the North Eastern side speaks volumes of how quickly Jamil has brought a winning spirit into the squad. Albert Roca, on the other hand, has a lot to ponder as he saw his team pick up just 2 points from their last 4 I-League games, hardly the stuff that a champion team is made of.
The Blues were on course for a much-needed win against Minerva Punjab, but a momentary lapse in concentration saw the visitors earn a draw that keeps the southerners in an unfamiliar 5th position in the table.
Khalid Jamil will not look to change a winning combination that emphatically dispatched Churchill Brothers in the last round.
Centre half pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Salam Ranjan Singh will continue in defence in the absence of first choice pair of John Johnson and Juanan, both of whom are serving their suspensions. The rest of the team picks itself, but Roca may look to give midfield maestro Eugeneson Lyngdoh a breather after the 30 year old looked off the pace in the last 3 games.
Head to Head
Bengaluru have won both the league games played between these two teams.
Khalid Jamil-Aizawl FC: Bengaluru FC are a good team, we will have to be very careful tomorrow.” Known for his defensive games, Jamil also added, “We will have to defend and attack as well. If we want the three points to ourselves, we will have to be quick in utilising all our chances.”
Albert Roca-Bengaluru FC: “We’ve been playing some good football and it’s only a matter of putting to bed the chances we are creating. Against Minerva, we were plain unlucky. But that’s football. We’ve picked ourselves up and are focused on the challenge that Aizawl will throw at us. They are a team that’s high on confidence and are playing at home which means everything is against us. It’s going to be a test of our character and I’m sure the boys will be up to it.”
Man to Watch
Jayesh Rane-Aizawl FC: The former Mumbai FC youngster will be one of the key men for Jamil as he looks to add to Roca’s problems. The 23-year old has been groomed from the Mumbai FC academy by Jamil and this new experience with Aizawl has been fruitful for the midfielder with 2 goals in 8 games.
Udanta Singh-Bengaluru FC: In a side that boasts of star names, Udanta stands out with his searing pace and trickery. The 20-year-old was instrumental in the Blues opening goal against Minerva and was in the thick of things with his exceptional wing play in the dying embers of that game. Roca rued not being able to field the Manipur youngster in the AFC Cup campaign last year and will look to use the winger’s full potential in a tricky clash at Mizoram.
Aizawl FC: Albino Gomes(GK); Ashutosh Mehta, Kingsley Eze, Zohmingliana Ralte, Lalruatthara; Albert Zohmingmawia, Mahmoud Al Amna, Alfred Jaryan, H. Lalmuankima; Stephane Kamo Bay, Jayesh Rane
Bengaluru FC: Amrinder, Khabra, Jhingan, Salam, Ralte, Lenny, Watson, Udanta, Chhetri, Mandar, Vineeth
Ten 2 telecasts the game on Wednesday at 02:00pm IST. You can also read Khel Now’s live commentary.