I-League: Neroca starts favourite against defending champion Minerva

A win on Sunday will consolidate Neroca’s position at the top three and keep it in the hunt for the title.

Neroca FC takes on Minerva Punjab FC in an I-League clash in Imphal on Sunday.   -  AIFF Media

Neroca FC will go into its I-League clash against defending champion Minerva Punjab FC as favourite at the Khuman Lampak stadium in Imphal on Sunday.

After a stuttering start to its I-League campaign, Neroca bounced back into the reckoning with three wins in its last three matches. Minerva has been eduring a tough season in front of goal and there was no respite in a home defeat against Mohun Bagan and a goalless draw against Chennai City FC.

Spanish coach Manuel Fraile has made some key decisions along the way. The experienced Singham Subhash Singh and Lalit Thapa have been brought back into the mix and Nigerian striker Felix Chidi seems to have got back his goal-scoring touch.

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“We must keep the momentum. We need to be steady too. 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,” said Fraile.

Minerva’s Irish coach Paul Munster is yet to settle on the right attacking combination. William Opoku Asiedu has already had eight different partners in attack this season and with only six goals scored so far, it is clear than none of those attacking combinations have worked for Munster so far

“Our first few matches have been relevant as they were home games but this is an away game. We are expecting better performances and the creation of more opporunities to score a goal. Preparation has been really tight as we look forward to the game. We have been looking towards the Neroca match for a positive result.”