It's been just over two months since their last fixture in the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Condeferation) Cup, Minerva Punjab are set to host Chennaiyin FC in a Group E clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam, on Wednesday.
|Game||Minerva Punjab v Chennaiyin FC|
|Date||Wednesday, June 19|
|Time||3:00 PM IST|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
Minerva Punjab FC:
Key Players: Khalif Alhassan, Samuel Lalmuanpuia
Suspended: Prateek Joshi
Key Player: Mailson Alves
Suspended: Eli Sabia
Unavailable: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Raphael Augusto, Jerry Lalrinzuala,
Minerva Punjab will be looking to keep their qualification hopes alive as they enter the penultimate round in the group stage. Having played their first home game at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar they will play their remaining home fixtures at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
Sachin Badadhe's men first played out a goalless draw with Chennaiyin in their group stage opener, after which they have recorded three more stalemates (2-2 against Abahani Dhaka, 2-2 and 1-1 against Manang Marshyangdi) and are yet to register a win.
Defender Prateek Joshi picked two yellow cards in the last match and will be suspended for the game. Therefore, the defensive pairing of Kareem Nurain and Robert Primus will have the onus to keep Chennaiyin's forwards at bay.
Whereas, John Gregory's men lead the group coming into this game despite losing their last match 3-2 against Abahani Dhaka in Bangladesh. With the last group game in Nepal, Chennaiyin will not have any more games in India in order to accumulate more points.
Tied on points with the Bangladeshi outfit, Minerva trail the Marina Machans by just three points which makes it a crucial game for both teams.
Chennaiyin will miss a string of first-team players owing to injury. Mailson Alves' defensive partner Eli Sabia will sit out on account of suspension while Jeje Lalpehlua hasn't traveled to Guwahati.
The former ISL champions are pinning their hopes on Thapa who scored for India against Thailand in the King's Cup, as well as on CK Vineeth who found the net in their previous outing. An interesting encounter is on the cards as both the sides will be gunning to get the three points to boost their chances of making it to the knock-outs.