PREVIEW: Aizawl are tough to beat at home; Churchill have surprises for some tough teams
LAST MINUTE GOALS are slowly becoming a trend for Aizawl FC this season. That means not just scoring but conceeding goals as well. A fact that Churchill should have mixed reactions about. So if Churchill manage to score first, they cannot let the concentration go drop till the final whistle. Likewise , even if Churchill are down by a small margin, they must take inspiration the teams that have scored late against Aizawl and wait for that one chance.
Aizawl, on the other hand, are within close proximity of second placed Mohun Bagan. If they manage to get the win, they will keep an eye on the Kolkata derby on Sunday featuring both the top two placed teams. In the last game, Aizawl came close to getting a point off Mohun Bagan. That game was of course crucial for Mohun Bagan to keep their noses ahead of Aizawl. It again comes back to Aizawl getting all points in order to stay at the third position.
Churchill have had a mixed run. They had to wait till the fourth round to earn their first point. They followed up that game with their first victory over Bengaluru FC. After the boosted performamce against the defending champions, Churchill lost momentum and could only manage a draw against bottom dwellers Minerva Punjab FC. Against Shillong Lajong, the Red Machines lost by a solitary goal. They must win points in order to stay above the dreaded bottom pit.
Aizawl have looked at the services of Kingsley and Albert to keep stability in their midfield and would hope Mahmoud Al Amenah is back to fitness to being available for the game. Rane would play an important part in getting the goals for the team as has netted two so far in the season. Aizawl have made sure they have scored at least one goal in every game barring the 2-0 loss against Chennai City FC for every goal they have conceded. This helped them that they have a positive goal difference. The defence will have to be on their toes to counter the speedy counter play of Churchill.
Churchill must get their defensive problems sorted to avoid conceding goals like they have been doing. Communication between the backline and the goalkeeper has been a major worry for the team from Goa. Adil Khan has made up for all the poor defensive show by delivering some great performamces, consistently. He is seen taking up good positions during set pieces to use his aerial strengths in the box. Adil even added a goal in one such foray forward. Churchill play Chennai City next, a team that is sitting at the bottom of the table. A loss against Aizawl and a win for Chennai and Minerva Punjab will mean, Churchill heading back to the the position where they spent most time at the season start.
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