Hero I-League 2017: Minerva Punjab vs Indian Arrows- All you need to know

The two teams meet for the second time in the same month as Minerva intend keeping their 100 per cent record intact

The Indian Arrows travel to Punjab to take on Minerva Punjab for the second time this season in I-League. The game at the the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana takes place 13 days after the game in Athletic Stadium,Bambolim, Goa, which saw Minerva hand the Arrows a 0-2 defeat. William Opoku Asiedu scored a goal in each half to guide his team to victory.

Arrows are now 7th on the league table with a win and a loss from 2 games. On the other hand, Minerva Punjab has won three games and drawn the first one. Arrows will look forward to get a revenge on their loss to the North-Indian side, while, Minerva will come into the game with a huge boost and confidence and will look forward to thrash the young colts just like the last time.

Match Details:

Minerva Punjab FC vs Indian Arrows

Hero I-League 2017-18

Date: 18th December, 2017

Kick off at: 2000 HRS IST/ 1430 HRS GMT

Venue: Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana

Live Stream: Star Sports 2, HD2

Live stream: Hotstar, Jio TV

Going into the match:

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.

Team News

Minerva Punjab FC~

They will go into the match with a fully fit squad.

Indian Arrows~

Arrows will not get defender Anwar Ali, and midfielders Jeakson Singh and Nongdamba Naorem, due to AIFF rules, since they are on loan from Minerva Punjab FC.

Predicted XI:

Minerva Punjab FC~

Dagar(GK), Sukhdev Singh, Chencho, Randeep Singh, Girik Khosla, Kassim Aidara, Kamalpreet Singh, Eric Dano, William Opoku, Dzimitry Kowb

Indian Arrows~

Dheeraj Singh(GK), Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Sanjeev Stalin, Suresh, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Abhijit Sarkar, Edmund Lalrindika, Aniket Jadhav,Namgyal Bhutia, Deepak Tangri

Predicted Score:

If we take the first match between the two as a warm up match for the Arrows, the Colts will look to pounce back on the Northlanders. On the other hand, the experience of the Punjabi players will be a key to Minerva’s success. So, LNTUP predicts a win for Minerva Punjab FC correct scoreline of 1-0.