NEROCA FC will be hosting Chennai City FC at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal, Manipur, on Sunday.
NEROCA FC v Aizawl FC
Monday, February 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. The games will be telecast on television as well as digital platforms.
India (English) TV channel
Hotstar and Jio TV
Key Players: Eduardo Ferreira, Aryn Williams, Katsumi Yusa
Chennai City FC:
Key Players: Pedro Manzi, Nestor Gordillo
NEROCA FC will be happy to get back in action at the Khuman Lampak Stadium after a disappointing loss on the road against East Bengal.
Although Manuel Retamero's men did not deserve to return empty-handed from Kolkata, their defence could not contain the constant pressure put on by the likes Jamie Santos and Enrique Esqueda. This should be a concern for Retamero as Chennai City has equal firepower in the attacking third like East Bengal, if not more.
Eduardo Fereira and Varney Kallon must put their best foot forward to keep in check the freescoring Pedro Manzi. Aryn Williams and Tondonba Singh will also have their work cut out as they must not allow Sandro Rodriguez and Nestor Gordillo to settle down in midfield. It will be an interesting battle at the centre of the park given the skill set of the players who will lock horns.
But NEROCA have played exceptional football at home. Since their opening day defeat to East Bengal, no other visiting side have been able to trump them at their own backyard.
If the backline can hold their fort then Katsumi Yusa, Felix Chidi and Subhash Singh can take charge up front. The arrival of Chencho Gyeltshen have strengthed the attack and the goal against East Bengal will only boost his confidence.
On the other hand, Chennai will take the pitch with only target- to get the three points. They can ill afford a draw as East Bengal are chasing them with their tails up. Although they have won convincingly against Indian Arrows, the defeat to Real Kashmir highlighted the chinks in their armour.
The team likes to play with the ball and press higher up the pitch. However, they leave space behind their defence which can be exploited. Subhash and Katsumi are fast enough to initiate quick counter attacks and hit the Southerners on the break. In these circumstances, Pravitto Raju can be a crucial player if he is used by Nawas as he adds steel in midield.
Set pieces can also determine the outcome as both teams have players who are good in the air and if the deliveries are upto the mark, we can expect goals.
Can Chennai manage to spoil NEROCA's party at home and take another step to the title? Let's wait and watch.