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I-League 2017-18: Defending champions Aizawl FC look to bounce back against high-flying Minerva Punjab FC

Aizawl: Defending champions Aizawl FC would look to bounce back from their previous game defeat when they take on high flying Minerva Punjab FC in their third home match of the I-League on Wednesday .

 I-League 2017-18: Defending champions Aizawl FC look to bounce back against high-flying Minerva Punjab FC

File image of Aizawl FC players celebrate a goal. Image Courtesy: Twitter @ILeagueOfficial

Aizawl FC went down 0-1 to their Northeastern rivals Shillong Lajong FC in their last tie at their fortress. They would look to make amends of that disappointing result against the Punjab side at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

Captain Alfred Jaryan said Aizawl FC were a different side as compared to last season.

"As compared to last season, we are a completely peculiar side. The coach is different and our styles and tactics are also different. But there are still a lot of matches to be played and I hope we can finish the season in a good fashion," he said.

Minerva Punjab are coming to the tie after an unbeaten home run which has earned them 13 points from five matches.

Minerva coach Khogen Singh is well aware of their position in the league and he stressed on keeping the focus on the match but nothing else.

"We will try to continue this form until the end of the season. But our fixtures will be tougher as playing in away matches and I have experienced this as a player myself. Aizawl will be a tough opponent but I hope we can end the season in our current position," he said.

Minerva Punjab's transition from relegation battlers to fighting for the championship has been helped by the addition of forward Chencho Gyeltshen. The Bhutanese forward said he hoped to finish his first season in India with flying colours.

Chencho made the difference in their last match having scored the solitary goal against Indian Arrows.

"It is my first season in India and it is quite different to Bhutan. I want to score as many goals possible and be the best player in the league. Lifting the I-League with Minerva is my main aim and I hope we can achieve that as a team."

Chencho is one of the best players in the league so far but Aizawl's Portuguese coach Paulo Menezes said they will not man-mark the forward.

"Man-marking is not my philosophy and we will not mark Chencho tomorrow as well. We will play as a team and I hope we can collect three points," Menezes said.

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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2017 09:53:53 IST