The Goans will be looking to go seven points clear at the top as they kick-start the action in round 18...
Chakrabarty, Mehta, Evans, Nicholas;
Gabriel, Yakubu, Opara
Singh, Najarin, Ravanan, Yumnam;
Dias, Lenny, Beto, Gurung;
Churchill Brothers continue on their travels when they make the journey west to take on Mumbai FC , in Pune.
The Goan outfit currently sit pretty at the top of the table on 33 points from 15 games, four points ahead of their nearest rivals East Bengal and with two games in hand. With that all important win over the Red and Gold last weekend behind them and with the opportunity to kick-start proceedings in round 18, Mariano Dias’ men will surely look to pull further away from the chasing pack with victory over the men from the metropolis.
The current league leaders have certainly been in scintillating form this season, having won 8 out of their last 9 games in the league. With their last league defeat coming all the way back in November last year against East Bengal, it is a run of results that has seen them relentlessly surge to the top of the table, leaving the competition in their wake.
Skipper and midfield maestro Beto has been one of the key reasons for the team’s success this season, already netting 11 times while setting up quite a few other goals. Gabonese forward Henry Antchouet has also been a menacing presence upfront, with 9 goals to his credit so far. These two have been aided and abetted by an able support cast featuring the likes of Akram Moghrabi, Steven Dias and others, while Bilal Najarin has been a standout at the back.
|Can Mumbai hault the Churchill juggernaut?|
On the other hand, Mumbai FC will certainly be no pushovers at home. Mumbai barely managed to avoid the drop last campaign. But after a slow start to the season where they lost their first four games, have bounced back in fine fettle. Khalid Jamil has definitely added some steel to the side, making them hard to beat, especially on their own patch.
With a greater emphasis on defensive organisation and keeping the back door shut, they haven’t exactly been full of goals. As such, Jamil will be relying on spearhead frontman Yusif Yakubu to get amongst the goals in this game, while goalkeeper Luis Barreto will also have to be alert between the sticks to keep out the potent Churchill attack.
Mumbai have steered clear of the lows of last season and with a win against the league leaders they could jump to 5th spot in the table over-taking Prayag United, albeit temporarily. On the flip side, a Churchill Brothers win will see them go 7 points clear at the top of the table adding further pressure on their rivals.
Mumbai FC: The hosts have no fresh injuries concerns or suspensions to worry about. Importantly they are likely to be boosted by the return of influential defender Haroon Fakruddin Amiri from suspension. His presence is vital if Mumbai are to successfully negate a free-flowing Churchill Brothers frontline.
Churchill Brothers SC: Defender Denzil Franco and striker Bineesh Balan still remain sidelined with a calf strain and hamstring problem respectively, while midfielder Tomba Singh has a knee problem and is a fresh addition to the treatment table from the last game. Bikramjit Singh is suspended for this one after having reached the yellow card limit.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Churchill Brothers suffered their last defeat way back in November, 2012 with a 3-0 debacle at home to East Bengal.
- When these two sides met earlier in the season, the Goans ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture.
- With 11 goals so far this season, Churchill skipper Beto is the top-scoring midfielder in the league and second in the overall stakes.
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