As United Sikkim prepare for their first match back home with Bhaichung Bhutia in charge, their opposition will be high flyers Churchill who will look to chase down the top two...
UNITED SIKKIM FC
Franco, Najjarine, Ravanan, Yumnam;
Lenny, Bikramjit, Tomba;
Moghrabi, Bineesh, Gurung
It was heartbreak for Bhaichung Bhutia coached United Sikkim as they conceded two late goals to scupper two precious points in the stalemate against Air India, in a match where they had the upper hand. Yet Bhutia will be pleased as his team have bounced back after going down to Sporting Clube de Goa in his first match as a player manager to record two credible away draws, including that against Pune FC.
Now that the Snow Lions are back in their den, Bhaichung will be plotting to get that all important victory which has so far eluded the North Eastern outfit ever since matchday one when they downed Karim Bencherifa's Salgaocar FC.
Nurudeen Salau who grabbed a brace in the last match is expected to start upfront with Nadong Bhutia while the impressive DG Attivi will be bombing down the wings. Anwar Ali needs to marshal his defense as they are prone for moments of a lapse in concentration, which has led them to concede soft goals.
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Meanwhile for Subhash Bhowmick and Mariano Dias, things can't get any better as they are back in business after being thumped by East Bengal in their own backyard.
Two back-to-back victories including a last gasp win at Shillong Lajong, where all teams from Kolkata have dropped points, have meant that the title challengers have kept pace with the top two teams.
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A win will take them level on points with East Bengal and just a solitary point off current leaders, Dempo SC. However Beto's cynical double booking within a span of minutes will mean that Churchill will lack the creative spark to drive them forward.
Bhowmick will look to stick to his 4-3-3 formation which worked well against Prayag United. The Lebanese duo of Akram Moghrabi and Bilal Najjarine will be instrumental to their chances of an away win. Bineesh Balan and Israel Gurung will look to reprise their roles supporting Akram. Bikramjit Singh who scored the winner last time around will be drafted in the first team to replace the suspended Churchill skipper. Israil Gurung had a decent outing the last time around and it looks like Steven Dias will find it tough to make it into the first team if the youngster continues his top form.
United Sikkim FC: There are no reported injuries and Bhaichung will look to rotate his squad which has just come back from all the travelling. You could also see the Player Manager making a late appearance himself.
Churchill Brothers: Steven Dias in all probability will miss out due to injury while Skipper Beto is suspended after picking up a double booking in the match against Prayag United in Kolkata.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Philippe De Ridder had started the season in charge of United Sikkim FC before getting the boot for being thrashed 10-1 at Kolkata by Prayag United.
- The Snow Lions are currently languishing third from the bottom, a point above the drop zone.
- Their goal difference of (-11) is the second worst in the league, beaten by ONGC's even poorer (-15)
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