I-League: Indian Arrows vs Chennai City FC- Match Preview
The new I-League season is back and it is time for the newest in business- Indian Arrows to host the southlanders- Chennai City FC.
The Chennai-based outfit has moved to Coimbatore with a greater focus on not only promoting the sport but also to inject a fresh lease of life. Football was once the most sought-after sport in Coimbatore. Fans from in and around the region and from the neighbouring States of Kerala and Karnataka used to throng the Nehru Stadium just to have a glimpse of their favourite stars in action. Not anymore.
From being the most popular, the sport has now sort of faded away. CCFC’s entry into Coimbatore has now given the sport that extra flip. The team chose the City with the hope of bringing back the fans and with it the lost glory.
On the other hand, Indian Arrows are a Delhi-based side injected into the National League Top Tier model by AIFF for the development of Indian football. This is the second time AIFF’s pilot project – the Indian Arrows are returning to the Indian footballing fold. The team last participated in the I-league way back in 2012-13 and took the 12th spot on the league table. Arthur Papus managed the team but due to the lack of sponsors, the project and the team were re-branded as Pailan Arrows and its main sponsor, the Pailan Group, announced that it would not support the team financially.
Coming to the tie, Chennai City are much of a stronger side with experienced players compared to Indian Arrows who consist of India U-17 and U-19 players. On the other hand, Indian Arrows are much of a balanced side and have an excellent coordination considering the players are playing and moving on all together for the last 3 years, courtesy of participating in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2017 India.
As pre season practice, Chennai City FC played two matches against Bengaluru FC and Bengaluru FC Residential Academy. They drew the first match 2-2 against the ISL club and won the second match 3-1.
On the other hand Indian Arrows had a completely different pre-season. Probably the most difficult pre-season amongst all the I-league sides, the India U-19 team that is set to participate in the league had a pre-season at the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers, playing their trade against Asia’s best. The Indian Colts played Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Yemen in Dammam and showed flashes of brilliance in patches. Manager Luis Norton de Matos will surely look to change a thing or two as the young lads, most of them that participated in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, will match their seniors head-to-head in the upcoming I-league season.
Hero I-League 2017-18
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Kick off at: 17.30 (India)/ 18.00 (Bangladesh)
Venue: GMC Athletic Stadium (Bambolim).
India: Live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2.
Head to Head:
These two teams have never met before. This is the first time they are facing each other in a tie, and the second tie is scheduled to be on some time in January next year.
Chennai City FC: They will have a full squad going into the first match of the I-League.
Indian Arrows: They will have a full squad going into the first match of the I-League, except for second goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, who is out with a minimal ankle injury.
Chennai City FC~
Goalkeeper: Uros P.
Defenders: Clintu C. (LB), V. Schumeiko (LCB), D. Ravanan (RCB), H. Monsang (RB)
Midfielders: Edwin Sydney (DM), M. Soosairaj (LW), S. Rajapandi (LCM), C. Anandraj (RCM), A. Beautin (RW)
Forward: Joachim (CF)
Defenders: Sanjeev (LB), Sahil (LCB) , Anwar (RCB), Boris (RB)
Midfielders: Haldar (LDM), Jeakson (RDM), Nongdamba(LW), Edmund (CAM), Ninthoinganba (RW)
Forward: Rahim (CF)
Coming to the fact that this is the first time the Indian colts will be playing an I-League match, it is Chennai City FC who may dominate due to heaps of experience. Also taking into consideration the fact that the match will be held at Bambolim, there will be many of travelling CCFC fans who’ll come to witness the game that will give CCFC an advantage over the Indian Arrows. Also considering that the Indian Arrows team has been staying all together for the past 3 years, they’ll have a much more coordinated and balanced play. The home team also leads in fitness, speed and stamina. But, we also havr to take to account Chennai City FC’s failure to capitalize at the final third. They get enough chances, but fail to score; it has been clear in the practice matches.
Putting together all factors, LNTUP predicts a win for Indian Arrows by a scoreline of 2-0.