Beleaguered HASC take on Air India

HASC go into Sunday's I-League game at the Bangalore Football stadium having managed just a single point in five matches, including three losses at home. Air India, on the other hand, are flying high, having taken seven points from their last three matches, including an impressive win against reigning champions Salgaocar SC. The Aircraftmen are at the bottom of the table while Air India have pushed themselves to eighth.

Not enough can be written about the Aircraftmen's lack of finishing prowess. Posession, even against big teams like Churchill has not been a problem, but converting the opportunities into goals has been made difficult not only due to the forwards’ lack of firing powers, but also due to the overly negative tactics applied by the coaching staff.

HASC have adopted a defensive approach in all the home games so far, playing with a lone striker in the goal shy A Hamza, and packing the midfield with defensive minded players.

“It has been difficult for us. But we are going to take a different approach for tomorrow’s match, HASC manager M Muralidharan said. “We definitely plan to attack and we have a few plans up our sleeve, which we hope will come off.

After missing the previous game against Prayag United, fit-again RC Prakash is expected to line-up alongside Hamza with Murali deciding to go back to the more attacking 4-4-2 formation.

Air India have bounced back remarkably well from two defeats in their first two matches to pick up two wins and a draw from the final three. The Mumbai side boasts of a solid strike partnership of Henry Ezeh and Manandeep Singh, who have scored five goals between them so far. The midfield is not too bad either with Japan’s Takayuki Omi and Mohammad Shafi pulling the strings. There are some concerns in the defensive department, however, with three first choice defenders in Napoleon Singh, Lamine Tamba and Kali Alaudeen missing due to injury.

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