The fight is between the only two institutional teams in this I-league, it is the fight between two bottom-half teams - the teams known for the fighting stature and probably not for their flamboyance. It is the fight between the Aircraftsmen and Airmen - HAL Vs Air India!
The airmen might have taken severe beatings in the initial 2 rounds, however, came back strongly in last 3 rounds – defeated Salgaonkar at home and Chirag Kerala away and a goal-less away draw against Shillong Lajong.
For the hosts, it has been all struggles lately! Only 1 point from 5 matches, and more appalling is 3 straight home defeats. “We have nothing but to win this match”, as HAL rightly pointed by coach Thyagarajan, when asked the game plan for tomorrow’s game.
After trying out with a single striker in the last few matches, HAL might come back to the 4-4-2 formation. Veteran RC Prakash likely to take the field and central defender T.V. Biju Kumar sits out due to injury with Liliyan Kenneth replacing the later.
Air India coach, Santosh Kashyap has his task cut out against HAL attack. The Mumbai-team is left out with no option but to try a young defense-line. They will be missing the services of Lamine Tamba, Kali Alaudeen, and captain Napoleon Singh out due to injury.
Kashyap sees no reason to take their opponent lightly, “HAL has been a good side, they play possession football, and always difficult to beat them at home. There’s very less difference between the lower-half teams!”