HERO I-LEAGUE table toppers Minerva Punjab will host Indian Arrows in their own backyard Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab tomorrow (December 18, 2017).
It will be a tough test for the young Indian Arrows side comprising of Indian U-17 World Cup squad and Indian U-19 team members were on the receiving end when these two sides collided in Goa, thanks to William Opoku Asiedu’s brilliant brace.
Indian Arrows coach De Matos has clearly stretched that it’s not the result he is after but the development of his younger side. His side had a reasonable 10 days break in order to prepare themselves for the upcoming challenge.
When the Portuguese was asked about his team’s preparation for the upcoming game he told media that he studied Minerva Punjab really well.
“I again want to point out that we are not here to win or lose. We are here for the experience of the competitive matches. My team is very young. They are 18-year-old players and it’s essential that they play bigger stronger opponents for their development.”
He praised the Punjab-based side wholeheartedly as well,
“We have worked on Minerva’s strength especially their throw-in and other set pieces. Minerva are the leaders of I-League and are a very strong side,” he added.
According to the Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos, it’s a long-term project to make Indian players adapt to a European style of play.
“Yes, it’s a long-term project. I don’t want to change my style of play for a different opponent every game. I want my players to play the same kind of football we are playing so when these players are ready in 2 years of time for the senior side they can counter European teams easily. In order to achieve this the players need more competition,” he expressed.
Minerva Punjab gaffer Wangkhem Khogen Singh, whose side have accumulated 10 points in 4 matches until now, was asked if he would make any changes to the line-up which he simply declined with a complete no-no.
“We want to keep our winning streak to stretch as much as possible. We will not change our team or our team tactics. We won’t take any side lightly no matter how our opponent is,” he stressed.
The Bhutanese attacker Chencho, who has already hit the right chord, said he wants nothing but 3 points tomorrow.
“We want 3 points. That’s it. We will try our best to achieve that,” he clearly put forward his intentions.
The mouth-watering clash will kick-off at 08:00 PM in a cold wintery weather in Ludhiana, Punjab and it will be telecast live on Star Sports 2, HD2 and streamed live on Hotstar, Jio TV.
Get the latest in the world of Sports, Teams, and Players! Free Delivery to your Inbox.