The I-League leaders welcome a Pailan side that are not functioning as well as they should but can still pull off a few surprises...
The young Pailan Arrows will have to overcome their recent decline in performance as they face a mighty Churchill Brothers side away from home in an I-League round 15 match. For Churchill, it will be another chance to retain their top spot in the table.
Though the Arthur Papus led Pailan side had surprised everybody with their attacking brand of football in the first few matches of the season, the team has lost it touch as the season has progressed. The team was banking on the likes of Alwyn George and Holicharan Narzary to score.
But both of them have been out of the score-sheet recently. The main problem has been their midfield as they have missed the service of someone who can snatch and pass the ball with elegance. The team has lost miserably to almost all the top-class teams. The strategy of Arthur Papus, though should not not be questioned as he has formed a well-balanced side without any foreign players. The team has to get back to the winning ways as soon as possible.
However, for Churchill Brothers this has been a great season. After losing in the Federation Cup semi-final, they have recovered well in the I-Legaue. They have now 28 points from their 12 matches and are currently on the top of the league-table. Their foreigners have performed notably well this season. The pick of the performers has been Roberto da Silva, who has already scored 10 goals this season. The team will hope to carry their form after a 6-0 win over Shillong Lajong.
The Indian players of the Churchill squad have also performed decently. The likes of Bineesh Balan has won matches for them. They also have regular Indian internationals like Denzil Franco dominating the defense along with the foreign recruit Bilal Najarine. The team will expect that this becomes an easy fixture for them as they have been playing good passing football throughout the season and are almost free from injury problems.
Churchill Brothers:- Churchill will be forced to employ a new strikeforce after two of their regulars were ruled out. Bineesh Balan limped out with a muscle strain although results later showed nothing and Henri Antchouet is also understood to be carrying a niggle, with Akram Moghrabi and Ajay Singh set for starting roles.
Pailan Arrows:- Arthur Papus will ceratinly look into the problems faced by his team in the latter part of the season. The midfield can have some new faces starting the proceedings. The likes of Tirthankar Sarkar may get some share of first team action.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Churchill Brothers have won the first leg match between these two sides 3-0 on 10th December, 2012.
- Churchill's Lebanese striker Akram Moghrabi had scored 85 times in 159 appearances for Lebanese club Nejmeh for whom his brother Ahmed currently plays.
- Two players of Churchill are in the top five of the scorers' list. Beto and Akram Moghrabi have both made it to the top five.
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