Suman Chakravorty: After a nail-biting Hero I-League season and some ongoing turmoil regarding the participation in the Hero Super Cup, today xtratime.in will discuss about the three possible I-League teams who can win the title despite the presence of the mighty ISL outfits in this season.
Chennai City FC: If they play the competition, they are undoubtedly one of the strongest contenders. Akbar Nawas has done a remarkable job in shaping the new I-League champions into a well-oiled machine. A blend of some terrific foreign players, domestic talents and supreme attacking tactics is the main USP of the resounding rise of Chennai City FC this season. After taking the mantle of coaching, Nawas quickly understood what the local talents would possess for his team. He oversaw the trials of the players who are picked from the local leagues. The likes of Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Regin M, Pravitto Raju and Shem Marton Eugene are some of the local talents who had a great season under Nawas. The foreign trio of Nestor-Manzi-Sandro has produced 38 goals among the 47 goals that were scored by Chennai this season. Manzi alone scored 21 goals, being the joint top scorer of the league in the process. Sandro scored nine goals whereas Nestor Gordillo scored one less than his partner.
Quess East Bengal FC: After the Quess Corps took over, the squad started to transform into a happy family. Spanish mastermind Alejandro Menendez Garcia has done a miraculous job in building up a family with a majority of ‘mediocre Indian players and some super effective foreign recruits. Despite the fact that the Red and Gold brigade will miss the services of their two top goal-scorers Jobby Justin and Enrique Esqueda, the team is not at all in a mood to panic ahead of the Super Cup. Though there has been a turmoil going on regarding their stand on playing in the competition, East Bengal remains to be the threat for all the teams if they play in it.
The dominant duo of Acosta and Borja in the central defence, the set piece maestro in the form of Didika Ralte, the super utility attacker Danmawia Ralte and the astute tactics of Alejandro Menendez Garcia makes East Bengal the team to beat this season.
Indian Arrows: Many would raise their eye-brows to see Indian Arrows in this list but with the way Floyd Pinto’s men have improved in the course of the season, they are going to be a very tough team to face for all the teams playing in the competition. They have already produced some surprise results in the recently concluded I-League and they got better and better as the league progressed. The likes of Deepak Tangri, Rohit Danu, Asish Rai, Prabhsukhan Gill, Amarjit Singh and Rahul KP are showing milky ways of a bright future in Indian football.
Football fans in the country should not get suprised if they offer one or two serious upsets in the forthcoming Super Cup.