Aizawl FC are to host Real Kashmir in the I-League 2018-19 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl, on Friday afternoon.
Aizawl FC vs Real Kashmir
Friday, January 11
2:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the I-League but will not telecast this fixture. The game will be telecast on digital platforms.
India (English) TV channel
Key Players: Rochharzela, Alfred Jaryan, Lalkhawpuimawia
Injured: Ansumana Kromah
Key Players: Abednego Tetteh, Mason Robertson, Abhash Thapa
Aizawl FC's sixth defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss at the hands of Indian Arrows, saw Gift Raikhan resign. The team will now be led by former India assistant Stanley Rozario for the rest of the campaign.
The Mizoram-based outfit, currently with nine points from 11 games, had only registered their second win when they edged Gokulam Kerala 3-2 before their last defeat. Only Shillong Lajong (4) are below them.
It would be a herculean task for Rozario to pick the boys up from the ongoing slump. It only gets worse with the injury of Ansumana Kromah who was on target against Gokulam along with Lalkhawpuimawia and Rochharzela.
Jacko Kassaga started his first game with Aizawl and it will be vital for the Ugandan defender to develop an understanding with Kareem Nurain at the back while Leonce Dodoz would be burdened to lead the attack.
Real Kashmir, three points behind leaders Chennai City FC (24), will be looking to draw level with them with a win on Friday.
They last claimed the scalp of Mohun Bagan with a 2-1 win, a result that saw Sankar Lal Chakraborty step down as the Mariners' coach. Real Kashmir coach Dave Robertson would be particularly pleased to remain undefeated against East Bengal (1-1) as well in the run in to their next tie.
Having conceded just seven times in 11 matches, at least three goals lesser than any other side, the Snow Leopards can boast of the best defensive record with Aaron Katebe and Loveday Enyinnaya at the helm despite Mason Robertson moving forward - something that has also worked well for the team.
Going forward, only Danish Bhat is yet to find the back of the net among the regular attackers but of which is not much a concern when players like Surchandra Singh and Abednego Tetteh can keep the pressure on the opponents.
Can Aizawl FC make a positive come-back under new coach Standley Rozario or will Real Kashmir continue with their good form?