Shillong: Bengaluru FC face Shillong Lajong in a vital away fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Shillong, on Sunday. Ashley Westwood’s team have a slender four-point lead with a game in hand over second-placed Salgaocar who played out a 0-0 draw against United SC on Saturday and the Englishman will hope his League leaders cash in on the momentum they have been building.
Bengaluru are coming off impressive wins against United SC (1-3) and Churchill Brothers (3-0) and with five games to go, Westwood realizes his team can ill afford a slip up from here if they are to make an already brilliant season even more special. Shillong Lajong too, have had an impressive season that sees them on fifth position but a four-game winless streak is something they would be keen on turning around.
The last time the sides met was in December at Bangalore where the hosts came away with a 2-1 win owing to a Sunil Chhetri brace. The skipper has flourished in his new position on the left and with 13 goals, leads the I-League goal-scoring charts. “We are at a very crucial juncture in the season and it is important to keep up to the standards we have set for ourselves this season. Shillong away is always a tricky fixture but the mood in the camp is that of confidence,” said Chhetri.
Westwood knows well enough than to assume an easy ride given Bengaluru FC’s position on the table. “After the game in Bangalore, I spelled out that Shillong Lajong would be a top-four side and they have proved me right. It’s not going to be an easy game and we will have to work hard to get a result,” said Westwood on the eve of the game.
Missing Sunday’s fixture will be striker Robin Singh and left-back Keegan Pereira, the both of who sit out with suspensions. Westwood has among Beikhokhei Beingaichho, CK Vineeth and Malemnganba Meitei to choose from to join Chhetri and Sean Rooney in attack. Thangboi Singto, meanwhile, has a complete squad at his disposal with striker Cornell Glenn back after missing the 0-0 draw against East Bengal last week.
RECENT RESULTS OF BENGALURU FC
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RECENT RESULTS OF SHILLONG LAJONG
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