Shillong Lajong are set to host Minerva Punjab in an I-League 2018-19 tie at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, Meghalaya, on Friday evening.
|Game||Shillong Lajong vs Minerva Punjab|
|Date||Friday, November 23|
|Time||5:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the I-League. The games will be telecast on television as well as digital platforms.
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
|Star Sports 3||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Four back-to-back defeats after a 2-1 win over Aizawl FC in the ongoing I-League season sees Shillong Lajong languish in the second last spot after five games.
Besides the solitary goal defeat in the all-Indian match up against Indian Arrows, Alison Kharsyntiew's side have faced relatively heavy defeats against East Bengal and Gokulam Kerala (both 3-1 losses) before a 4-2 defeat against Churchill Brothers in their last outing.
Their inexperience at the back has seen them concede twice as many goals (12) they have scored. While it was certainly a bold step to not sign any foreigners by Shillong Lajong, so far it has not produced any rewards in terms of results.
On the other hand, defending champions Minerva Punjab have so far picked four points from as many matches. They registered their first win over Aizawl FC (2-1) after a draw against Churchill Brothers but have been beaten by Real Kashmir and Gokulam Kerala.
The club's Japanese striker Yu Kuboki, who kept the scoreboard ticking in the pre-season, has been missed due to injury. In his stead, the other foreigners in Donatus Edafe and Bala Dahir are yet to find the back of the net.
What's also been hurting the side is the lack of familiar faces from the I-League winning season as far as consistency with the notable exception of William Opoku. Lancine Toure has done well but he lacks enough support, especially from the Indian players.
Can Shillong Lajong get the better of Minerva Punjab on Friday evening or will the defending champions come strong?