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Arrows look to keep up perfect home record

After mixed results over three consecutive away matches, the AIFF XI, in their new Indian Arrows avatar, will take on Kolkata's Chirag United in the 14th round of I-League 4 in Gurgaon on Friday.

sports Updated: Feb 11, 2011 00:07 IST
Tomojit Basu

After mixed results over three consecutive away matches, the AIFF XI, in their new Indian Arrows avatar, will take on Kolkata's Chirag United in the 14th round of I-League 4 in Gurgaon on Friday.

Indian Arrows lost 0-3 to Pune FC and 0-2 against Mohun Bagan but beat Viva Kerala 1-0 in their last three outings. What's important is that the team, coached by Englishman Desmond Bulpin, is yet to lose at home.

"Chirag's a good side, we were a unlucky to have lost to them in Kolkata. It will be a tough game tomorrow," said Bulpin who helms the youth development side currently placed 11th.

These boys will also form the core of the team playing the Olympic qualifier against Myanmar on February 23.

Captain and centre-back Raju Gaekwad is out with a back injury along with fellow central defender Deepak Devrani. Vishal Kumar is likely to play for one of them. "It's a blow, not having Raju and Deepak. Vishal doesn't usually play as centre-back but he's confident," said Bulpin.

Chirag United technical director Subroto Bhattacharya too has injuries to contend with. Wide midfielder Gouranga Biswas, right-back Subhasish Chowdhury and goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal will miss the chance to represent the 2010 Durand Cup winners at the Tau Devi Lal stadium.

"The young team has done well so far. Having practised together for so long, they will be at an advantage because they will run more and make us work harder. Our defensive lapses from the earlier match (where Chirag lost 3-5 to Churchill) have been addressed," said the Mohun Bagan legend whose team is seventh in the 14-team league.

Olympic qualifiers
The list of probables for the Olympic qualifiers was announced on Thursday. The team will hold a six-day camp at Pune on February 17.

The team: Arindam Bhattacharya, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Jagroop Singh, Abhisek Das, R.Vishal Kumar, Raju Gaekwad, Nirmal Chhetri, Deepak Devrani, L.Fenai, Mohanraj, Jibon Singh, Shilton D Silva, Jewel Raja Sheikh, Milan Singh, Subodh Kumar, Lalrin Dika, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Malsawm Fela, Robin Singh, C.S.Sabeeth, Inderpreet Singh, Jagtar Singh, Bikramjit Singh & Manandeeep.