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Federation Cup 2017: Aizawl FC vs Chennai City FC Preview - League champions kick-off cup campaign against debutants

Goal.com logo Goal.com 06-05-2017

Reigning I-League champions Aizawl FC kickstart their 2017 Federation Cup campaign with a Group A encounter against Chennai City FC at the Barabati Stadium in Odisha on Sunday, 7th May 2017.

Group A consists of Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal and Chennai City FC and a winning start will go a long way in reaching the semifinals for either team.

Khalid Jamil's men, following a tumultous week that saw them win a historic I-League title and get involved in a controversy over the future roadmap of Indian football, will be desperate to get back on the field and focus on the game once again. They had reached the final of this tournament last year where they lost 5-0 to Mohun Bagan. This time around, Aizawl are a much more confident outfit who will not fear any team that pops up in their path.

Chennai City, on the other hand, are playing their first ever Federation Cup after finishing eighth in their debut I-League campaign. The South Indian side have returned several good results in the I-League despite having sacked Robin Charles Raja as their manager midway through the season. But they beat East Bengal and held Bengaluru FC at home under current coach Soundararajan and will be upbeat as a result.

ISL & I-League may not co-exist

Chennai City had pulled off a surprise win over Aizawl at home in the I-League but were beaten away. However, Aizawl must be considered the favourites here and are expected to work Karanjit Singh and co. a fair deal.

Aizawl are expected to line-up in their customary 4-4-2 with Rane playing a free role behind Bayi. Chennai City will be in a 4-4-1-1 with their youthful stars expected to be given a run out. Alfred Jaryan and Mahmoud Al Amna will be the key players for Aizawl who should be aware of Chennai City's young duo of Nandhakumar and Soosai Raj, who have been playing really well of late.

Chennai City’s manager V. Soundarajan said, "We are looking forward to the Aizawl FC challenge tomorrow. They have some of the best players in the nation and they are deserved champions. We have the utmost respect for them."

PREDICTED LINE-UPS:

TEAM NEWS

AIZAWL FC:

Injured : None

Doubtful : None

Suspended : None

Key Player : Mahmoud Al Amna

CHENNAI CITY FC:

© Provided by Goal.com

Injured : None

Doubtful : None

Unavailable: Marcos Thank (Not picked in squad)

Key Player : Charles de Souza

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