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Churchill Brothers - Warriors FC Preview: Can the Red Machine register their first win in the competition?
The Goan side have to cast aside their volatile league form and put their best foot forward when they take on the Singporean side in the continental competition...
By Atanu Mitra
CHURCHILL BROTHERS SC
Denzil, Balmuchu, Ravanan, Yumnam;
Dias, Lenny, Bikramjit;
Chhetri, Antchouet, Balal
Zainal Abidin, Qaiyyim, Vidosevic, Ruzaini;
Gunawan, Jia Yi, Inui
Churchill Brothers will face Warriors FC, a team from Singapore in their third Group-E match on Tuesday. Both the teams will be eager to snatch the bragging rights as they have been unable to notch up a single win in the prestigious competition so far.
For Churchill Brothers, a season that had taken off brilliantly has taken a steep downward turn in 2013. They could manage only seven points out of the possible 18 in their last six I-League games. The problems started after the winter transfer window opened, as their star performer of the season and the leader of the defence, Bilal Najjarin left after receiving a lucrative offer from Fujairah SC of UAE.
In the absence of the Lebanese international, the defense has looked porous as there is an absence of a leader at the back. Akram Moghrabi also moved elsewhere after having scored crucial goals for the club in the I-League.
The Goan club have already replaced Moghrabi with prolific Afghan striker Balal Arezou. Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the Indian team is also a part of the side now, after managing only a handful of appearances from the bench at Sporting Lisbon 'B' side. Lamine Tamba, the former Air India defender, has been roped in order to provide some stability in the back four.
Beto is sidelines for two-to-three weeks
The biggest setback for the home team will be the absence of Beto, the prolific Brazilian playmaker who has been the team’s highest goal-scorer this season with 15 goals so far. The midfielder has suffered a hamstring injury recently and it has to be seen how the team performs without his services.
Speaking of their opponents, this is not turning out to be an ideal season for the S-League club. Still without a win in the AFC Cup, pressure is on coach V. Selvaraj to win this match and get back on track for qualification to the next round.
In the domestic league, the club had one of the worst starts in their history, picking up only two wins in their first six matches. They now have 7 points from the six matches played.
Former Japanese international Kazuyuki Toda is expected to stay on the treatment table for at least another two weeks while the club will also be missing defender Syed Fadhil due to injury. Singapore international Shi Jia Yi has travelled with the team and it is expected that he will be match fit after returning from an injury break.
The team has lost both its matches in the AFC Cup, and Churchill Brothers will certainly look forward to take advantage of the defensive loopholes of the side, which has conceded 7 goals in their last two outings in the competition.
In their last league match, the club had a morale boosting 3-0 win against bottom side Courts Young Lions, with Erwan Gunawan scoring a brace while Tatsuro Inui adding a goal to his name.
Churchill Brothers: Star midfielder Beto is unavailable after he suffered an injury during the I-League game against Salgaocar FC. Defender Lamine Tamba will have to sit out this game after picking up yellow cards against Kitchee SC and Semen Pedang.
Warriors FC: The Singapore side will avail the services of their fullbacks Zulfadli Zainal Abidin and Ruzaini Zainal who missed their last game against Kitchee SC. Toda, Syed Fadhil and Shimpei Sakurada are expected to be out for the game against Churchill due to injuries.
|DID YOU KNOW
- Warriors FC were previously known as the Singapore Armed Forces Football Club (SAFFC) since their establishment on 16 February 1996.
- During the 2010 AFC Cup, Churchill Brothers SC won two games against Yemen's Al-Hilal and finished runners up in their group and advanced to the next round where they lost 1-2 to Kuwait's Al-Qadsia.
- Warriors FC is currently the most successful club in the history of Singapore, having won the S-League title a record 8 times since its inception 15 years ago. Only three times, they have finished outside the top two.
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Top 3 Predictions
Churchill Brothers SC 2-1 Warriors FC
- 28.57 %
Churchill Brothers SC 4-2 Warriors FC
- 14.29 %
Churchill Brothers SC 1-2 Warriors FC
- 9.52 %
|AFC Cup (AC)||10-Apr-2013||Warriors FC 1 - Churchill Brothers SC 0|
|AFC Cup (AC)||02-Apr-2013||Churchill Brothers SC 3 - Warriors FC 0|
|Churchill Brothers SC|
|12-May-2013||Air India F.C. 0 - Churchill Brothers SC 3||IND1|
|07-May-2013||Churchill Brothers SC 1 - Mohun Bagan A.C. 1||IND1|
|01-May-2013||Semen Padang 3 - Churchill Brothers SC 1||AC|
|24-Apr-2013||Churchill Brothers SC 0 - Kitchee SC 4||AC|
|21-Apr-2013||Mohun Bagan A.C. 0 - Churchill Brothers SC 2||IND1|
|6||Sudhakaran Naveen Kumar||Midfielder|
|15||Shukor bin Zailan||Midfielder|
|3||Zulfadli Zainal Abidin||Midfielder|