Dynamism is not what would be associated with either Santosh Kashyap or Khalid Jamil but the 2016-17 I-League fourth round clash between Mumbai FC and Aizawl FC, two teams in metamorphosis, at the Cooperage stadium in Mumbai promises just that.
When a team averages two points a game, they are likely to end the season at the right side of the table and the Yellows are definitely are on course for that. However, the spanking handed down by CK Vineeth in Bengaluru will be a deep wound to heal for the side who have up until now played with only domestic talents.
That is about to change as former Sporting Clube de Goa medio Densill Theobald joins the ranks and he will slot straight into the heart of the pitch. Nikhil Kadam, the winger, should be given a look-in.
Lalramchullova, one of the better performers in defence for Aizawl last season, has recuperated from the injury he sustained in the Mizoram Premier League (MPL) and has travelled to Mumbai.
Aizawl FC's Khalid Jamil - We must not take Mumbai FC lightly
Khalid Jamil was not the only Mumbaikar who made the switch to the Mizo hills. His 'muses' Jayesh Rane and Ashutosh Mehta were also 'pied piper-ed' in. Albino Gomes, also packed bags after a stint with Mumbai City, and all of them have proved to be invaluable additions to the Aizawl setup so far.
Rane scored in the last game while Gomes saved a penalty. Ashutosh, who has made all his three appearances from the bench so far, came on and headed in the winner against Minerva at home last weekend.
East Bengal’s Trevor Morgan on Bengaluru FC clash: On paper it’s the toughest
Jamil has ditched his favoured style in favour of a fast-paced wing play and most of his detractors are raving about it. Jamil now faces Kashyap, who has replaced him at Mumbai.
Also, both teams are only separated by a point. A win for either side will see them stake their claim to be a serious contender for a top-three spot in the league.
Kick-off is at 7:05 PM IST on 22nd January, Sunday at the Cooperage Ground in Mumbai.
Injured: Allan Dias, Lalchawnkima
Key Player: Densill Theobald
Key Player: Jayesh Rane
THREE KEY POINTS
- It is the first time Khalid Jamil, Jayesh Rane and Ashutosh Mehta would be facing a team from Mumbai given their whole I-League playing/coaching career was spent in the Maharashtra capital before this season.
- Mumbai have never beaten Aizawl: Lost once and drawn once.
- Mumbai FC are still the only team in the league not to field a foreigner yet. That could change on Sunday, though.