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I-League 2017: Aizawl FC vs. Chennai City FC Preview - Can Khalid Jamil's boys maintain pressure on Kolkatan clubs?

Goal.com logo Goal.com 24-02-2017

Aizawl FC, who were relegated last season only to be reinstated for the current season, are without any doubt the surprise package of the season. Not only are they comfortably above the relegation zone but are now in a position where they can mount a serious title challenge. More importantly, they can temporarily go top of the table when they take on Chennai City FC at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Aizawl for a round eleven clash of the I-League on Saturday, 25th February 2017.

The Reds from Mizoram sit third on the table right now, a point adrift of league leaders East Bengal and Mohun Bagan who don't play until later. A win on Saturday will see them go top for a brief period of time at least and it will be well deserved. Khalid Jamil has got his side well organised and are tough customers to beat, especially at home. They have conceded just three goals in six home games so far.

Why Bengaluru need to win against East Bengal

Eze Kingsley and Zohmingliana Ralte have been solid at the back while Brandon Vanlalremdika has been in good form up front. Alfred Jaryan has also pulled his weight in midfield, lending that but of solidity to Jamil's team. Against Chennai City FC, who are not really the greatest travellers, Aizawl are expected to come up trumps. Moreover, they go into this tie in high spirits, having downed league leaders East Bengal 1-0 last week. They successfully managed to blunt Trevor Morgan's side and that performance really highlighted Aizawl's credentials to be a serious contender for the title.

The away team are coming to Aizawl after the whipping Shillong Lajong handed out to them in Chennai last Sunday. In what was the new coach Soundararajan's third game in charge, Shillong completely exposed their weaknesses in midfield and defence, slotting in four goals in the process. Chennai do not have that link between midfield and attack and often Charles de Souza, their Brazilian striker, is seen toiling away without service. The South Indian side's wide midfielders have also been a disappointment, failing to whip in quality crosses, which restricts their attacking options.

Aizawl FC are without Lalruatthara who is injured while Chennai City have travelled without Haroon Amiri and Marcos Vinicius. Amiri is suspended after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in the previous game.

Chennai City are yet to win a point from an away game and unless they step up considerably, it could be another long day at the office for them. Kickoff is at 2:05 PM in Aizawl.

PREDICTED LINEUPS:

TEAM NEWS:

AIZAWL FC

Injured: Lalruatthara

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Key Player: Mahmoud Al Amna

CHENNAI CITY FC

Injured: Michael Rejin

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Suspended: Haroon Amiri

Absent: Marcos Vinicius

Key Player: Charles de Souza

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