Bangladesh Premier League champions Abahani are planning to bring change in strategy in their final group game of AFC Cup against Minerva Punjab as Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba is still uncertain about joining the team due to visa complications.
Abahani had their first practice session in Guwahati yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s match, and the signs are the coach field Saad Uddin upfront while draft in Wali Faisal in defence as the group leaders might need a victory against the I-League champions to advance to the zonal-final play-off stage.
Saad played in right-back position against Manang Marshyangdi in the last match in Dhaka while Wali was on the bench.
“Sunday is an important player and he played every match. But we must make some changes in the team, play a bit differently and get three points,” Lemos said over phone yesterday.
“It’s possible [to win the match without Sunday] but it will be hard. Minerva are a team that have not lost yet and we must be concentrated and tactically perfect to win this match,” said the 33-year-old coach.
However, Abahani can emerge as emerge group champions even if they lose to Minerva Punjab if second-placed Chennaiyin FC drop points against hosts Manang Marshyangdi on the same day.
Manager Satyajit Das Rupu informed that the fate of Sunday will be known by today afternoon but the team is prepared to play the match without Sunday.
“Every player is convinced about the importance of the match against Minerva. The players are determined to give their best because they worked hard to come to this stage and they don’t want to give up until the final whistle,” said Rupu.
Minerva Punjab are the only unbeaten team in the group, having drawn all five games so far. They had twice taken the lead against Abahani in Dhaka, but goals from Sunday and Nabib Newaj Jibon secured a point for the Dhanmondi outfit.