Week 6 Rumours

We breakthrough the halfway point of the season and this week have rematches of the opening week. Teams will be trying to exploit the weaknesses they learnt in their first matchup and take away big points this Sunday. Weather is expected to be cold and snowy on Sunday so be prepared. All games are still scheduled to be played.  

Andalusia FC vs. Jerusalem FC (8:45PM - Field 3)

Andalusia and Jerusalem swapped in the standings last week and are clinging on to the final playoff spots with 6 games to go. Last time these two teams met in the opening week, Jerusalem jumped out to a 2-0 lead with Andalusia climbing all the way back to lead 3-2 until the final moments of the match. A bad clearing attempt from Andalusia and a hail Mary shot from Jerusalem ended the match in a draw. Both teams were unhappy with the result and now have an opportunity to make amends. 
Andalusia rebounded after two consecutive losses to earn 3 points last week over Hejaz. They expect Shaheen Limbada back in the side this Sunday but Atif Mian is still doubtful due to injury. A shakeup in the lineup sparked some new energy upfront which resulted in their most goals since Milton Soccer Academy. It remains to be seen which lineup GM Omar Sheikh comes up with this week. Andalusia has a chance to lock up a playoff spot with 6 points in their next two games. With the squad finally getting some consistency, you can expect they will be up to the task. 
Jerusalem suffered a difficult defeat to Anatolia last week as they were outplayed for most of the match. JFC are one point clear of relegation with two teams chasing them in the standings. The squad has had some shuffling to do with their GM out of the country. Arshad Chawdhry and Ismail Akhter have been taking turns between the pipes and we expect that to continue next match as well, at least until their GM returns. The squad is finally starting to score with 7 goals in their last two matches which is twice the production of the first 3. They will need to build off that as they face a tough test against Andalusia.

Samarra FC vs. Anatolia FC (8:45PM - Field 4)

Anatolia finally got the monkey off their back and earned three points last Sunday to get themselves back into the playoff race while Samarra dropped big points to their rivals for top spot. Both teams are trending in opposite directions and will be looking to steady the course on Sunday. 
Anatolia made a big change, trusting rookie Abdullah Akhtar to play striker in a full blown attack. Abdullah responded by scoring a natural hat trick and you can be sure he will be starting up top again. Junaid Akram was pushed back to midfield and former Golden Boot winner Humeid Masood was seen playing defence. The changes brought results in a crucial match against Jerusalem but that lineup will be tested against one of the best sides this Sunday. They will need more possession and more goals to beat Samarra on Sunday.

Samarra on the other hand, were blanked for the first time this season against Sham. Their offense had been humming along until last weekend. Team management must be please with the defence and goalkeeper Hassan Syed after they only conceded one goal over their last three matches. That is a rare feat in BISL and they will be hoping they remain stingy this Sunday against a confident Samarra team. Another loss by the redblacks could put them firmly in the middle of the table and spoil a fantastic start to the season. The squad have all reinforcements now so they should be able to build on that every week. 

Sham FC vs. Hejaz FC (9:45PM - Field 3)

Hejaz suffered a tough loss last week having been robbed at least a draw by the opposing keeper which has resulted in an unforgiving drop in the standings. They did extremely well to create chances, get their shots off, and keep them on goal, but lacked decisiveness to capitalize on any points. Syed Murtaza and Nasir Rehman continue to be the go-to guys when it comes to attack but look vulnerable without their defensive anchor Ali Wadee. However, they coped well in the circumstances as Syed Kazmi has put in quite the performances as of late but he may be stretched against a potent Sham side. GM Taqi Ahmed, has done an admiral job in getting their team back in place for playoff contention especially with the unpraised role he has taken up on the pitch. This season, he has been a no-nonsense type midfielder that has increased the team’s possession stats which have helped create more chances. A win against a perfect Sham side seems unlikely, but attainable if the squad is up to it’s best. 

Sham had to work hard to protect their perfect record as they squeezed through a 1-0 win against a former perfect Samarra. It was the combination, Shah to Siraj, we were talking about earlier in the season and their familiarly that made the difference. Sham did have a couple clear chances to open the scoring, but hit the post and it send wide which could have cost them their perfect record. Impressively though, Sham was able to keep a clean sheet against a very successful attack-oriented side and as a result, have convinced viewers that Sham are the favourites this season. What happens in games is that teams spend extra resources to null the threat of either Muhammed Shah or Fawad Akram but can only get away with containing one of the 2 stars. Last week it was Fawad which resulted in Shah having many looks in front of goal that should have been converted. Once again, Sham is predicted to win in confidence this week, but may come up to a challenge as Hejaz look for a playoff spot.