Mariano Dias' side will want to make the most of home advantage as they seek to head to into the mid-season recess on a high.
Franco, Balmuchu, Naveen, Yumnum;
Dias, Lenny, Bikramjit, Balan;
Mandal, Gouramangi, Rasaq, Dhanachandra;
Tulunga, Lester, Lalkamal, VineethVineeVin;
Churchill Brothers will want to bounce back from their recent lows with three points when they entertain Prayag United on Sunday.
The Goans were sweeping aside all that came before them until a few weeks ago and looked odds on favourites for the title. But ever since the 2-1 home win over United Sikkim, they have hit the wall, managing just the solitary point out of six in their last two games on the road and remarkably failing to find the back of the net. This untimely dip in form has seen them concede top spot in the table to title rivals East Bengal, albeit with two games in hand over the Red and Gold.
The Red Machines currently sit second with 38 points from 17 games, just two points behind current leaders East Bengal. A win on Sunday could see Mariano Dias’ men reclaim the top spot.
|Churchill Brothers will be looking to return to winning ways
With Bilal Najjarin quitting midway to move to UAE, the imminent arrival of new recruit Dutchman Bas Van Den Brink hasn't yet fructified. At the other end, that dependable free-scoring spirit seems to have deserted them too and boss Dias will hope influential midfielder Beto and striker Henry Antchouet can rekindle their lethal partnership, which has been the cornerstone of many of their successes this campaign.
Meanwhile, Eelco Schattorie’s Prayag United have been consistently inconsistent this season looking world-beaters on one occasion and paupers the next and as such, have struggled to put a string of wins together. Of their last nine games they have won 5, losing thrice and drawing once.
However, the visitors do sit a creditable 4th in the table on 30 points, ahead of Pune FC on goal difference and also boast the league’s top scorer in Ranti Martins. While the striker will provide the most potent threat in front of goal, C.K Vineeth’s performance on the wings and Lalkamal Bhowmick’s ability to control the middle of the park will be crucial, if Schattorie’s side harbour any hopes of emerging from Goa with a result.
For the Goans this game is a must win as they seek to wrestle back the initiative in the title race, while a full complement of points for Prayag United could see them move into the top three if other results go their way.
Churchill Brothers SC: Midfielder Tomba Singh is suffering from a knee injury while defender Dharmaraj Ravanan will have to sit out of the tie due to a double booking against Mohun Bagan in the last match.
Prayag United SC: K.Asif looks an unlikely starter as he is suffering from a problem in his ankle. Carlos Hernandez hasn't returned back from Costa Rica while Kayne Vincent suffered a hamstring injury last week in a Kolkata League game.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Henry Antchouet and Beto have scored 20 goals between them so far this season, that amounts to half of Churchill Brothers’ total tally of 40 goals.
- League top scorer Ranti Martins has accounted notched up 20 goals so far this campaign, that just less than half of Prayag United’s season total of 41.
- Churchill Brothers won the reverse fixture 2-1.
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