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Neroca FC start as favourites against Minerva Punjab in I-league

ANI | Updated: Dec 22, 2018 22:46 IST

Imphal (Manipur) [India], Dec 22 (ANI): Having registered wins in each of their last three games, Manipur based club-side Neroca FC will clash against title holders Minerva Punjab in the ongoing 12th I-League here at Khuman Lampak stadium on December 23.
Neroca are at the third spot in the league standings with 14 points from eight games and have won four times so far. On the other hand, Minerva are placed at the seventh position with 12 points.
The home team began their campaign in an uninspiring fashion by picking up just two points from their first three games. But since then, have won four of the next five matches.
Ahead of the match, Spanish coach Manuel Fraile has made some key decisions along the way for Neroca, two of them being ensuring that the experienced Singham Subhash Singh and Lalit Thapa are back in the active mix and with the inspirational Yusa coming back, Nigerian striker Felix Chidi also seems to have got back his goal-scoring touch.
"We must keep the momentum. We need to be steady too. Support of the fans, journalists have also played an important role. The important aspect is to look at the opponent also. From January, we will be playing more away matches. We will be playing with a tough team who are the champions. We are in a very good position now," Coach Fraile said.
Minerva have played about 24 players in their nine games so far and are yet to zero in on an ideal attacking partnership for William Opoku. The Ghanaian has had to partner the likes of Manandeep, Sabeeth, Donatus Edafe, Alexandre Kouassi, Yu Kuboki, Nongdamba Naorem, Dilliram Sanyasi and Makan Winkle Chothe at various stages of the campaign unlike last year when Chencho and Bali Gagandeep were mostly by his side.
There is a lot at stake on December 23 as the champions would have completed their first round of matches by the end of it and a win would mean they would look forward to the second round with renewed confidence whereas a loss could derail the campaign seriously. For the hosts as well, a win could take them to clear second position and open up a gap with the chasing pack. (ANI)