I-League: Air India take on Prayag United

I-League: Air India take on Prayag UnitedPune: Air India who are fighting a private battle with Shillong Lajong for No 9 position, would face Prayag United SC in the 24th round I League encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Prayag United have 38 points from 23 matches, but the Kolkata side is part of a bunch of seven teams, all with a chance to make it to No 2 position as only four points separate them, making the race to the end an interesting battle.


Given that Prayag comfortably defeated Air India 3-0 at home in December, the Sanjoy Sen led outfit should prove stronger even if they would be playing away and under scorching sun. Both Yusif Yakubu and Joshimar Da Silva are in good form and if they manage to break Air India defence a few times, the Kolkata side will be unstoppable.

Since the league restarted in the last week of March, Prayag has won twice and lost once, but they will remember that this ground has not been a happy hunting ground for them. They have lost miserably in the two matches Prayag has played this season, first 1-3 against Mumbai FC and then 1-2 to Pune FC.

That is the only positive that Air India would like to bank on and extract home advantage. No doubt Sporting Clube de Goa outsmarted them last week, but Air India played well and held control over the match for the first 45 minutes before the Goans sneaked in and made inroads.

Strikers Manandeep Singh and Henry Ezeh have been Air India’s mainstay and should they combine well tomorrow, Prayag will have tough time negotiating Air India defence fortified by Lamine Tamba, Collin Abranches and Bijoy Basfore. Goalkeeper Pawan Kumar has been under a lot of pressure, but has done his bit throughout the season.

Though Air India hasn’t had good outings in the last phase of the league, they would do well if the home team can work on the advantage of playing under conditions that they have now got used to.

Prayag won the previous encounter against Air India 3-0.


By Indian Sports News Network