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I-League 2017: Bengaluru vs Aizawl FC Preview - The table toppers need a win to inch closer to the crown

Goal.com logo Goal.com 08-04-2017

Bengaluru FC return to I-League action after a successful stint in the AFC Cup as they take on leaders Aizawl FC at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The reigning champions have little chance of retaining their crown and have instead almost consciously concentrated on bettering their AFC Cup display last time around. In their last contest against Mohun Bagan where they were thumped 3-0, key players Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Sunil Chhetri did not make starts, making coach Albert Roca's intention quite clear. However, with the next I-League match only about a week later and followed by AFC Cup action, Roca will look to field his first team for this fixture.

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The trident of Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh and CK Vineeth are expected to lead the line while Eugeneson Lyngdoh plays the role of a playmaker. In defence, Sandesh Jhingan will continue to play as Right Back with Nishu Kumar possibly returning to the left as Roca plays a 4 man backline.

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Aizawl meanwhile have had a fairy tale run which had a momentary shock last time around when they were held by minnows Minerva Punjab away from home. That highlighted the stark difference in form at home and away for Khalid Jamil's men. While they have won 7 and drawn a solitary game of their eight matches at home, away from home they have an indifferent record of winning 2, drawing 2 and losing 2. While the Minerva draw broke their four-match winning streak, Aizawl will look to establish their advantage at the top especially with two of their championship rivals playing against each other this week. The team is expected to retain their usual core with the impressive Mahmoud Al Amenah partnering Alfred Jaryan for a formidable midfield combination. Stephen Kamo will be the target man upfront with Jayesh Rane slotting in behind. When the two teams had last met, Brandon Vanlalremdika was on the scoresheet and he will look to carry on the good work from the wings. Interestingly, a Bengaluru win will actually benefit one of the two Kolkata clubs in their title battle while Aizawl have all to play for in the fascinating fixture.

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

TEAM NEWS

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BENGALURU FC

Injured : None

Doubtful : None

Suspended : None

Key Players : Sunil Chhetri

AIZAWL FC

Injured : None

Doubtful : None

Suspended : None

Key Players : Mahmoud Al Amenah

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