Buoyant Aizawl look to rub more salt in Mumbai wounds
Written by: Sourav Neogi
Khalid Jamil look to do the double over his former team…
The Aizawl-based football club has emerged as one of the toughest bunch going in this year’s I-League season until now. After a disastrous last season, the Mizo club has been a revelation this season after appointing Khalid Jamil as the Head Coach at the beginning of the season and the development for the Reds since then has only skyrocketed.
The Aizawl side has been totally revamped and has emerged as one of the most convoluted tactical teams in the league. The Reds have snatched seven wins in this year’s league campaign, grabbing 23 points on the road which puts them in the second place in the league standings, only behind league leaders East Bengal. Though they are at fault of a single point which puts them in the second place, they might go on top with a win over Mumbai FC in their next fixture, considering Shillong Lajong defeats East Bengal at their home on Saturday.
The Mumbaikars had a difficult start to their I-League campaign this year and their performance downgraded as the season progressed. The Mumbai-based team had undergone a managerial change in the previous year, appointing Santosh Kashyap as the Head Coach replacing Khalid Jamil who went on to become the head coach of League rivals and their next opponents Aizawl FC.
Since then, the Yellow Submarines has been on a crash course towards failure, losing six out of their eight League games play until now. The coach, Santosh Kashyap has frequently been subject to several critics, even from the Mumbai players a couple of days ago and if the current state of performances of his team does not change, this might be his last of remaining days at the helm of the Maharashtra-based side.
Aizawl FC does not have any serious injury concerns, but the Reds might be missing a key figure in Lalruatthara against Mumbai FC. However, they are expected to line-up the same as it was against Chennai City FC in the previous match, which they won 1-0.
Aizawl head coach Khalid Jamil has been an admirer of a winning formation and is the last person to experiment with one. Aizawl is expected to start the previous match day squad against Mumbai FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Mumbaikars does not have any injuries to be concerned about against the Mizo hosts in the next match. The Yellow Submarines also lack any suspensions in their next match against Aizawl FC which boosts their chances of an effective tactical strategy on Saturday.
Head to head
The hosts have a dominant history against the Mumbaikars. Aizawl has faced Mumbai FC on three different occasions until now, in which they have won two and drew one denying the Mumbai-based club to win any of the matches.
Khalid Jamil (Aizawl FC): “It will be a tough game. Every player will have to give their 100 percent for us to win the match.”
Santosh Kashyap (Mumbai FC): “We are prepared for this match, and we have a chance to win. They have been having an excellent season."
Man to watch
Jayesh Rane (Aizawl FC)
The 23-year-old Aizawl FC forward has been a revelation to the Aizawl squad this season. Rane, an enthusiastic and visionary playmaker, has helped the Reds to build up attacks as well as tracking back to defend against the opposition counter attacks. A Mumbai FC academy product, Rane was groomed under the guidance of Khalid Jamil and has contributed to both scoring and assisting goals in this season.
Karan Sawhney (Mumbai FC)
Despite a consistently poor performance by Mumbai FC in this year’s I-League, Karan Sawhney has emerged as a threat not to be taken lightly whenever he has played. Sawhney, one of the finest young Indian forwards currently, has been a threat to be reckoned with for any defensive units. Fast movements on the ball, Sawhney also offers tricky moves in the opposition final third and is quick to response to long balls intended for him. Dribbling is another signature mark of the 24-years-old forward and if played accordingly, is expected to pose a grave danger to Aizawl’s unbeaten record at home this year.
Aizawl FC (4-4-2)
Gomes, Ashutosh Mehta, Kingsley Eze, Zohmingliana Ralte, Lalruatthara, Albert Zohmingmawia, Mahmoud Amna, Alfred Jaryan, H. Lalmuankima, Stephane Kamo Bay, Jayesh Rane
Mumbai FC (4-3-3)
Kattimani, Fernandes, Rao, R.Singh, Sharityar, Wadoo, Theobald, Shirodkar, Kadam, Sawhney, Thoi.
You can read Khel Now’s live commentary of the game on the website.
Published: Fri Mar 03, 2017 09:27 PM IST