Minerva Punjab are up against Jamshedpur FC in the pre-quarterfinals clash of the Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on Monday evening.
|Game||Minerva Punjab v Jamshedpur FC|
|Date||Monday, April 2|
|Time||8:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the Super Cup. The games will be telecast with the option of English and/or Hindi commentary over their bouquet of television as well as digital platforms.
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
|Star Sports 2/2 HD||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Key Players: Chencho Gyeltshen, William Opoku
Key Players: Tiri, Wellington Priori
After finishing ninth in the previous I-League season, Khogen Singh's Minerva Punjab clinched their maiden I-League title in the recently concluded season. Like Jamshedpur FC, the Punjab-based team have also brought six foreigners with them for the Super Cup.
Besides the foreigners, the Minerva squad is also strengthened by their three loanees - Anwar Ali, Jeakson Singh and Nongdamba Naorem - who have returned from their spell with the Indian Arrows. The youthful trio are very capable of putting up notable performances but it will be interesting how they make space for themselves among a team of champions.
Should Anwar start in place of Sukhdev Singh, it will be the former's first experience playing alongside a foreign centre back in Guy Eric Dano. The same goes with Jeakson and Naorem as they would have Armand Bazzou or Kassim Aidara for company.
Chencho Gyeltshen will have more than a point to prove when he comes against an Indian Super League (ISL) opponent who are especially known for their stellar back-line. William Opoku too will not expect it to be easy in the attack while Kiram Limbu will also expect a relatively fresh challenge in goal.
Despite dubbing the competition as "nonsense" , Coppell would want to see his side put their best foot forward, especially after Jamshedpur FC's impressive display defensively wherein they conceded 18 goals from as many games but still two more than Minerva Punjab or Bengaluru FC from the same number of games in the league stage.
Jamshedpur's last two defeats were their heaviest of the season, going down 2-0 against Bengaluru before FC Goa mauled them 3-0 at the very venue. The Tata Group backed team had conceded more than one goal only thrice before, but again the same as Minerva Punjab overall.
Expect the defensive pairing of Tiri and Andrey Bikey to continue, with Wellington Priori, Memo and Trindade Goncalves driving the midfield. Izu Azuka was one of the stand out peformers in the ISL, who will be missed as Kervens Belfort is the available option besides that of using Farukh Chowdhary in attack.
Subrata Paul won the golden glove award while other Indian players such as Bikash Jairu, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Souvik Ghosh and Raju Yumnam have also fared consistently well.
Who will win this battle - Minerva Punjab or Jamshedpur FC?