Minerva Punjab look to stop DSK Shivajians strong juggernaut
Written by: Punit Tripathi
The hosts held defending champions Bengaluru FC in the last game 1-1...
Minerva Punjab would need to do something special to beat exciting performers DSK Shivajians, a team which defeated strong hosts Shillong Lajong FC 2-1 at their home in the last round.
After the recent bust-up between owner Ranjit Bajaj and Colm Toal, there has been confusion and a state of uncertainly in the Minerva camp regarding to the actual controller of state of affairs. The team has performed extremely well in the last two games, spear-headed by their youngsters. First team affairs are currently being controlled by Surinder Singh.
Dave Rogers, on the other hand, has rallied his side around and they've produced laudable performances one after the other, being the better team against Bengaluru FC in the last game. DSK has produced some brilliant performances and are growing in confidence, easily starting as favorites.
The home side is coming after a 1-1 draw away against Bengaluru FC in the last game. The team was led brilliantly by a second half goal (helped by Sandesh Jhingan) from Kamalpreet Singh, a player who has been in fine form this season. Anirudh Thapa and Baoringdao Bodo also played their parts well.
The visitors displayed another brilliant game of football against Shillong Lajong FC, defeating them 2-1 at their home. Shillong has been able to carve the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong into a fortress and breaching it is a job well done. The team is bubbling with positivity and a better finisher would surely help the side to be lethal.
Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Surinder Singh-Minerva Punjab: It’s a great feeling on the training ground, especially, when we are unbeaten and we have five points from last three games”.
Dave Rogers-DSK Shivajians: We have some really good youngsters and so do Minerva. We need to change Indian Football by giving these youngsters an opportunity which we at DSK Shivajians believe in, and also Minerva Punjab and Shillong Lajong are following the same philosophy. Our only concern is tomorrow's game against a good and improving Minerva Punjab team. From the owner Ranjeet, to their coach Surinder, they are excellent human beings and fantastic football people. We will approach this game as we approach every other I-League game in a positive and focused manner on trying to achieve our goal of gaining three points like we do against each opponent."
Man To Watch
Anirudh Thapa-Minerva Punjab: The U-22 midfielder showed composure and vision that belied his age in the win against Mumbai. He and striker Bodo linked up impressively and their pace could be a sign of worry for a Shivajians defence that has recently been vulnerable to quick counter attacks.
Juan Quero-DSK Shivajians: The diminutive holds the key for Dave Rogers' side. Lining up beside the never-tiring Milan Singh, Juan Quero has held the strings for the Shivajians going forward. It will be interesting to see how Quero is used against the Reds who have made the JLN Stadium their fort.
Minerva Punjab FC: Arnab (GK), Shaikh, Germanpreet, Souvik, Arashpreet, Simranjeet, Nurain, Mandeep, Thapa, Amobi, Bodo
DSK Shivajians: Subrata Paul (GK), Nirmal Chhetri, Sasha, Gourmangi Singh, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Shane McFaul, Milan Singh, Sumeet Passi, Juan Quero, Holicharan Narzary, Mawihmingthanga
The game will be telecast on Ten Sports on 15th February at 04:35 PM. You can catch also catch all the action on KhelNow.com.
Published: Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:41 PM IST