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ISL 2018-19: The contenders, the squads, their strengths and weaknesses

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ATK had a terrible time in the previous season, finishing 9th in the league stage. The team has spent big money to sign up Balwant Singh, Pronay Halder, Cavin Lobo and Arnab Mondal. They have good players for every position, though they seem to lack height in attack, which could cost them in aerial battles
Squad
Goalkeepers Debjit Majumder, Arindam Bhattacharya, Avilash Paul
Defenders Aiborlang Khongjee, Gerson Vieira, John Johnson, Arnab Mondal, Ricky Lallawmawma, Sena Ralte, André Bikey, Prabir Das
Midfielders Hitesh Sharma, Pronay Halder, Sheikh Faiaz, Malsawmzuala, Yumnam Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Komal Thatal, Manuel Lanzarote, Cavin Lobo, Noussair El Maimouni
Forwards Kalu Uche, Balwant Singh, Everton Santos, Jayesh Rane

Coach Steve Coppell
Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC were runners-up last season, and have a team to finish strong this time too. The strike force is strong, comprising the likes of Miku, Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh, Chencho, Thongkhosiem. The team, though, does not have a good backup for goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Squad
goalkeepers Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Soram Anganba, Aditya Patra
Defenders Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Sairuat Kima, J Gonzalez, Harmanjot Khabra, Rino Anto, Nishu Kumar, Asheer Akhtar, Gursimrat Gill
Midfielders Hitesh Sharma, Pronay Paartalu, Kean Francis Lewis, Dimas Delgado, Bidyananda Singh, Boithang Haokip, Francisco Hernandez, Ajay Chhetri, Altamash Sayed
Forwards Nicolas Fedor, Sunil Chhetri, Thongkhosiem Haokip, Udanta Singh, Chencho Gyeltshen
Coach Carles Cuadrat
Chennaiyin FC
Chennaiyin, the defending champions, have retained the core of last season’s team. The team has exciting young players in Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh and Jerry Lalrinzuala. However, in attack, only Jeje Lalpekhlua seems effective, and Mohammed Rafi and Baoringdao Bodo will have to raise their games
Squad
goalkeepers Karanjit Singh, Sanjiban Ghosh, Nikhil Bernard
Defenders Eli Sabia, Hendry Antolay, Inigo Calderon, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Laldinliana Renthlei, Mailson Alves, Tondonba Singh and Zohmingliana Ralte
Midfielders Sinivasan Pandiyan, Anirudh Thapa, Raphael Augusto, Andrea Orlandi, Francis Fernandes, Thoi Singh, Isaac V, Gregory Nelson, Germanpreet Singh, Zonunmawia, Bedashwor Singh
Forwards Carlos Salom, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Baoringdao Bodo and M Rafi
Coach John Gregory
Delhi Dynamos
Delhi finished 8th last year and have made several changes as they seek their first title. The team has signed up is India international defender Narayan Das. Their midfield has been strengthened by the joining of Pradeep Mohanraj, Marcos Tebar and Bikramjit Singh. But team seems to lack height to win aerial battles
Squad
goalkeepers Albino Gomes, Francisco Dorronsoro, Shayan Roy
Defenders Amit Tudu, Gianni Zuiverloon, Jayananda Moirangthem, Marti Crespi, Mohammad Sajid Dhot, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal, Rana Gharami
Midfielders Adria Carmona, Nanda Kumar, Marcos Tébar, Romeo Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Siam Hanghal, Pradeep Mohanraj, Bikramjeet Singh, Vinit Rai, Rene Mihelic, Shubham Sarangi
Forwards Andrija Kaluderovic, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Seiminmang Manchong
Coach Josep Gombau
FC Goa
FC Goa have been consistent, making the playoffs three times in last four years. The team has last season’s golden boot winner Ferran Corominas, who will be backed by Manvir Singh and Miguel Palanca. The defence has been boosted by two new defenders, Mourtada Fall and Carlos Pena
Squad
goalkeepers Lalthuammawia Ralte, Laxmikant Kattimani, M Nawaz
Defenders Carlos Pena, Chinglensana Singh, Lalhmangaisanga, Mohamed Ali, Nirmal Chettri, Saviour Gama, Mourtada Fall, Seriton Fernandes
Midfielders Miguel Palanca, Brandon Fernandes, Ahmed Jahouh, Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous, Lenny Rodrigues, Mandar Dessai, Imran Khan, Princeton Rebello, Jackichand Singh, Pratesh Shirodkar
Forwards Ferran Corominas, Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco
Coach Sergio Lobera
Jamshedpur FC
Jamshedpur FC were quite good on debut last season, finishing fifth. They’ve signed up experienced Spanish coach Cesar Ferrando, and also roped in Australian international Tim Cahill. The midfield is not very strong, and they’ve lost strength in defence too after losing Anas Edathodika and Andre Bikey
Squad
goalkeepers Subrata Pal, Rafique Ali Sardar, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury
Defenders Sanjay Balmuchu, Raju Gaikwad, Tiri, Pratik Chaudhari, Robin Gurung, Dhanachandra Singh, Yumnam Raju, Karan Amin
Midfielders Mario Arques, Pablo Morgado, Vishal Das, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Memo, Mobashir Rahman, Carlos Calvo, Bikash Jairu
Forwards Tim Cahill, Gourav Mukhi, Sergio Cidoncha, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary
Coach Cesar Ferrando
Kerala Blasters
Two-time runners-up Kerala Blasters were 6th last season, unable to make playoffs. They have brought in four new foreign players, in defence (Cyril Kali), midfield (Nikola Krcmarevic) and attack (Matej Poplatnik and Slavisa Stojanovic). Their defence was good last year, but they need to improve in the midfield
Squad
goalkeepers Dheeraj Singh, Naveen Kumar, Sujith Sasikumar
Defenders Anas Edathodika, Cyril Kali, Lalruatthara, M Rakip,
N Lakic-Pesic, Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Singh
Midfielders Loken Meitei, Sahal Abdul Samad, Kizito Keziron, Deependra Negi, Zakeer Mundampara, Nikola Krcmarevic, Hrishi Dhath, Courage Pekuson, Halicharan Narzary, Prasanth K, Suraj Rawat, Seiminlen Doungel
Forwards CK Vineeth, Matej Poplatnik, Slavisa Stojanovic
Coach David James
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City finished 7th last season, but are contenders for a playoff spot this year. The team has a strong midfield this season, which includes two new foreign players, Matias Mirabaje and Paulo Machado. They have good local players such as Raynier Fernandes, Sehnaj Singh, Mohammed Rafique too
Squad
goalkeepers Amrinder Singh, Kunal Sawant, Ravi Kumar
Defenders Anwar Ali, Bikramjeet Singh, Davinder Singh, Lucian Goian, Marko Klisura, Souvik Chakraborty, Shouvik Ghosh, Subhasish Bose
Midfielders Raynier Fernandes, Matías Mirabaje, Milan Singh, Arnold Issoko, Sehnaj Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthi, Paulo Machado, Mohammed Rafique, Bipin Singh, Milan Singh, Sanju Pradhan
Forwards Modou Sougou, Alen Deory, Pranjal Bhumij and Rafael Bastos
Coach Jorge Costa
NorthEast United
NorthEast Utd is the only team that hasn’t qualified for ISL playoffs yet, and they’d want to change that this year. The team is strong in the midfield, with three new foreign signings in Jose David Leudo, Federico Galego and Augustine Okrah. But the goalkeeping department seems a bit weak, as also the Indian contingent
Squad
goalkeepers Gurmeet, Avilash Paul, TP Rehenesh
Defenders Gurwinder Singh, Keegan Pereira, Reagan Singh, Mato Grgic, Mislav Komorski, Pawan Kumar, Provat Lakra, Robert Lalthlamuana, Simranjeet Singh
Midfielders Augustine Okrah, Rupert Nongrum, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Redeem Tlang, Nikhil Kadam, Fanai Lalrempuia, Seityasen Singh, Rowllin Borges, Federico Gallego
Forwards Kivi Zhimomi, Girik Khosla, Juan Cruz Mascia, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Coach Eelco Schattorie
Pune City
Pune City had made the playoffs last season, now they aim to go one better. The team has a top-class attack comprising Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro, Ashique Kuruniyan, Diego Carlos, Iain Hume and Robin Singh. They’re good in the wings, but in defence, they do look somewhat weak
Squad
goalkeepers Anuj Kumar, Kamaljit Singh, Vishal Kaith
Defenders Ashutosh Mehta, Gurtej Singh, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Martin Diaz, Matt Mills, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Sahil Panwar, Sarthak Golui,
Midfielders Marko Stankovic, Alwyn George, Rohit Kumar, Adil Khan, Shankar Sampingiraj, Jonathan Vila
Forwards Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro, Ashique Kuruniyan, Robin Singh, Gabriel Fernandes, Jakob Vanlalhimpuia, Diego Carlos, Nikhil Poojari
Coach Miguel Portugal

 
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TRAU FC qualify for I-League, beat Ozone FC to win second division league

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NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) lauded Manipur club Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC for winning the Hero 2nd Division League 2018-19, and qualifying to the next edition of Hero I-League.

They are the second club from the state after NEROCA FC, to have qualified for the Hero I-League from the second tier in three years.

TRAU FC defeated Ozone FC 2-1 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal to clinch the championship with one match left. The Manipuri side has amassed 15 points from five matches (so far), whereas second-placed Chhinga Veng FC are on 10 points having played an equal number of matches.

 

Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said: “Congratulations TRAU FC for the achievement. I’m sure the Hero I-League will be more competitive and challenging next season with their inclusion. I wish them all the best for the next endeavour.”

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I want more responsibility at PSG or elsewhere: Mbappe

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London: Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has thrown his future at the club into doubt by claiming he has reached what he sees as a “turning point” in his career.

Speaking after accepting the Ligue 1 Player of the Year Award this evening, the 20-year-old French international suggested he would like a bigger role going forward after claiming the Ligue 1 title with PSG this season.

However, Mbappe said that role could come either at PSG or “maybe somewhere else”, casting his future into doubt while hinting that he could leave the club in search of a new challenge.

 

“Of course there were some disappointments [this season] but it’s part of football, we managed to win this league,” he said after accepting the award on Sunday.

“I would like to thank the players, the coach, the club again. It’s important for me because I come to a first or a second turning point in my career.

“I discovered a lot of things here. I feel it’s time to have more responsibility. I hope it may be Paris Saint-Germain, it will be with great pleasure, or it may be elsewhere for a new project, but I would like to say thank you.

Mbappe went on to clarify his comments when asked if he was saying that he wasn’t guaranteed to stay at PSG next season.

“I said what I had to say. When you are in such an occasion you can send messages, I think I have sent mine,” he said.

“If I speak more it will be too much and that is not the message I wish to send.”

Mbappe joined PSG in 2017 from Monaco, having won the league the season prior.

Since joining the club, Mbappe has won the league twice while also claiming a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue title.

Mbappe, who was a part of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018, has scored 59 goals in 86 matches for the club while leading the league in scoring this campaign with 32 goals in Ligue 1 play and a total of 38 in all competitions.

Those achievements helped him claim the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award as well as the Young Player of the Year award.

“This is the only trophy I missed,” he said.

“I would first like to dedicate it to the president, Nasser [Al-Khelaifi], who is watching us, I know he had a tragedy this year so I would like to pay tribute to him, he has always been an honest man with me from the first day until today.

“I would also like to thank all the people who are here. It is the fourth year that I am here in this league.

“I have lived a lot many things that are rich in emotion: AS Monaco, where I was trained, where we managed to win the title, then Paris Saint-Germain for a totally different project, where I managed to adapt from the first year, to change positions this year.”

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Asif Ali’s daughter loses battle with cancer

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Islamabad: Pakistan batsman Asif Ali’s daughter, who suffered from stage four cancer, died in a hospital in the United States , Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Islamabad United has said.

Ali is currently on tour with the Pakistan national team in England and played in the 54-run defeat by the hosts in their final one-day international of the series.

“ISLU family pays its deepest condolences to @AasifAli2018 on the tragic loss of his daughter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Asif & his family,” the PSL franchise said on Twitter on Monday.

 

“Asif is a great example of strength & courage. He is an inspiration to us.”

Dean Jones, who coached Islamabad to the PSL title last year, also sent his condolences to the cricketer’s family. “On behalf of my family and the @IsbUnited players and families… we send our condolences and love to @AasifAli2018 and his family on the passing of his beautiful daughter,” Jones said on Twitter.

Jones had broken down in tears at a media conference in March when talking about Ali and his daughter’s condition.

The 27-year-old Ali was not named in Pakistan’s World Cup squad but made the 17-man group for the series in England where the middle-order batsman hit two half-centuries in four innings.

Former captain and chairman of Pakistan’s selection committee Inzamam-ul-Haq said last month that Ali could be drafted into the side before the World Cup.

Teams have until May 23 to submit their final squads for the tournament which begins on May 30. Pakistan’s first game is against West Indies on May 31.

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