The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Medios cause Habeeb concern

New Delhi: On the eve of Mohammedan Sporting’s crucial second division National Football League final round qualifier against State Bank of Travancore (SBT), coach Mohammed Habeeb is a worried man.

The playmaking abilities of his medios is the reason. According to Habeeb, the absence of creative midfielders Bhuvan Joshi and Arunava Sarkar, both injured, has led to fewer goal scoring opportunities .

However, Sarkar is recovering and Habeeb hopes to see him fit for the SBT match.

Although a draw is all that they need for qualification, Mohammedan Sporting, with four points from two matches are wary of a defensive approach.

This is because the SBT attacking trio of K.M. Abdul Noushad, S. Ignatius and wiry winger N. P. Pradeep possess both speed and guile. Moreover, SBT will go all out as they are on three points from two matches .

For his part, Habeeb will stick to the same back four that drew goalless with Haywards Sporting, Goa.

Habib Adekunle, who combined well with skipper Hussein Mustafi, will play ahead of an ailing Yaro Ishau.

In midfield, Habeeb is uncertain whether to start with L. Akbar Singh or the experienced Khemtang Paite.

If indisposed Awal Ibrahim, does not fully recover, Habeeb’s attacking options are limited and Dipendu Biswas and Syed Rahim Nabi will be the twin strikers.

TUESDAY’S FIXTURES: Mohammedan Sporting vs SBT; Haywards Sporting vs Air India.       

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