Can Noushad Moosah's men prevent Mariano Dias' side from reclaiming the top spot is what Tuesday's I-League tie awaits...
CHURCHILL BROTHERS SC
Franco, Ravanan, Tamba, Yumnam;
Dias, Lenny, Beto, Tomba;
Baldip, Chaudhari, Bheke, Thube;
Pradeep, Omeje, Shetty, Thorat;
Churchill Brothers have a good opportunity to use their two matches in hand to displace East Bengal from the top spot as the Goan side resume the I-League campaign following the 40-day break.
The Red Machines lost to Hong Kong side Kitchee SC in an away encounter of the AFC Cup and were unlucky to be held to a 2-2 draw against Indonesia's Semen Padang.
|Balal Arezou is poised to make his Churchill debut|
The boost for the Goans will be the arrival of Balal Arezou whom they missed in the Asian tournament as the Afghan international had problems in procuring a visa. The striker's presence will hence strengthen the team's strike force.
On the other side, Air India are not yet away from the relegation zone as they sit 12th on the table with 18 points from as many matches. Losing to ONGC FC earlier this month has also not helped the Pilots, who have a new coach in Noushad Moosah. Air India have managed to register three points just once since the New Year.
The Airmen will have to pull up their socks against one of the most formidable teams in the league who are also the front-runners to win the coveted I-League title this season.
Churchill Brothers SC: Balal Arezou has begun training with the team since Saturday and might have a role to play in the match. Head coach Mariano Dias has revealed that the Afghan striker may start on the bench, while Sunil Chhetri and Lamine Tamba are expected to make their I-League debut for Churchill Brothers. Defender Saran Singh is ruled out with a calf injury.
Air India: The Mumbai side signed a Nigerian defensive midfielder Amos Omeje. Defenders Gagandeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh have not traveled to Goa for the tie due to injuries, while Souvik Chakraborty will also miss the match upon being called for Railway duty.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Churchill Brothers SC enjoy a healthy head-to-head record, winning four of their last five encounters with Air India, one being a draw.
- Both teams have recorded 59 goals in their respective 18 matches of this term's I-League, but Churchill Brothers have scored 42 goals as compared to Air India's 24.
- Air India's away win rate (28.60%) this season has been poor, while Churchill Brothers' home win rate is almost equally as good (77.80%).
- Air India are one of the two teams, besides ONGC FC, who aren't eligible for next season's I-League.
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