Week 5 Rumours

Week 5 is here. We hit the halfway point of the season this Sunday and the final week before the league takes a break. A few teams crawl to the midway point while others are flying high. It is amazing how victory or defeat can change the mood in a side. Both undefeated teams tasted defeat last week and a few teams got much needed victories. Most teams are struggling with missing players this week with the holidays upon us. Let's check out the match-ups: 

Jerusalem FC vs. Andalusia FC (8:45PM on Field 4)

Jerusalem FC
Jerusalem’s roller coaster season continued last week as they reached rock bottom with a disappointing 7-2 loss to Anatolia. The Sky Blues continue to roll out a different squad every week and the regulars are starting to get frustrated with the lack of consistency. The team is loaded with talent but they haven’t been able to find the chemistry to yield desired results. Not all is lost though, - the season is still early and there is only one week left before the mid-season break for JFC to finish off on a high despite underperforming to expectations. Omar Sheikh continues to do his part by adding to his goal tally and Umair Wasim scored another on his release from being goalkeeper. We expect JFC to once again be missing some crucial members of the squad and doctors are still evaluating Atif Mian after he suffered a forearm injury playing hockey. Jerusalem tried matching the firepower of their opponents last week and got burned for 7 goals. They will need to be more conservative against a counterattacking Andalusia squad. Jerusalem are much better than they performed last week and we expect them to have a bounce back game this Sunday.

Andalusia FC
After dominating their first three opponents and only allowing a single goal, Andalusia suffered their first loss of the season to an up and coming Samarra squad. Samarra found unexpected holes in the Spaniards defense to put four goals past keeper Junaid Mirza. The squad took plenty of positives from the match as their relentless attack fought back to make it a one goal game. The biggest surprise thus far has been the play of Karamat Jr (aka Fahim) as he has already surpassed his career goal totals this year. When asked about his recent form, he attributed the success to the play of his midfielders and most importantly, the Jr. on the back of his shirt. On the other hand, many pundits are shocked that Imad Siraj has been held goal-less thus far. As the only BSL player with an International cap, even if it was for Team Pakistan, we expect the poacher eventually break out of his scoreless streak. With the squad missing Ali Chaudhry this week, there is no better time for Imad to break out of his funk. Andalusia plays a great team game and will be looking to bounce back after a poor performance last week.

Hejaz FC vs. Anatolia FC (8:45PM on Field 3)

Hejaz FC
The reigning champions put the league back on notice this week with a resounding victory without their best player. Last week, Hejaz lost a close game but also lost two players in Farhan Ahmad and Faheem Kotwal to injury. Hejaz made a couple sly pick ups with the addition of Fawad Akram and Junaid Akram as replacement players. Junaid had a great debut with 2 goals including the game winner. Friends of the duo reckon that older brother Fawad will out do his younger brother this week in his debut. With Muhammad Shah back from his spiritual journey this week, expect Hejaz to be a dangerous squad again. The new additions have also lit a spark under the entire squad as everyone seemed to be more confident and composed this week. They know they now have the talent to be competitive. Omar Adil continues to turn heads with his improved play of late. The question remains if GM Ibrahim Sardar is enjoying his time burning calories on the pitch or if he wants to go back to standing between the posts. They face a huge test this week against the high flying Turks.

Anatolia FC
Anatolia made a statement last Sunday as the team to beat with another blowout victory. The Turks were held to a single goal and suffered a disappointing loss to Andalusia the week prior and quickly turned things around with a 7 goal output. The twin towers Zain Khilji and Nehad Shihab continue to run up their point totals with a total of 16 goals combined in 4 games. Both are on pace to have record breaking campaigns. They both also celebrate a birthday together this Sunday which makes supporters wonder if they will be in top form. The addition of playmaker Taqi Ahmed has given them the third ball carrier that they have been searching for since year one. The improved play of Muhammad Salman has solidified the Anatolia backline which held their opponents in check this week. At the start of the season, there were huge question marks around the Canaries defense, but they have proven to be consistent thus far. Rookie goalkeeper Umair Sheikh has also been a revelation for the squad as he continues to surprise many with his stellar play every week. They have lost top defender, Shoaib Gaya to a knee injury and have replaced him with speedster Taher Mirza. Taher is a stud on the softball field but the soccer pitch is completely different. Anatolia face another stiff test this Sunday against a revamped Hejaz squad looking to move up the table. Anatolia have a chance to top the tables at the break for the first time with a victory.

Sham FC vs. Samarra FC (9:45PM on Field 4)

Sham FC
Sham FC come into the final week before the break with one point and a total of 4 goals in 4 games. Sham built their team around defense and goalkeeping but all that means nothing if you can’t score more than one goal a game. The Orangemen have plenty of firepower but continue to struggle to complete the final pass that could lead to a scoring opportunity. Athar Siddiqui, Zeem Khan, and Mohammed Mahmood all come with a scoring pedigree and can spark the offense at any moment, they just haven’t figured out how to do it together. Youngster Ahmad Alvi has been doing his best to run all over the pitch but some consider he might be doing too much. GM Usman Aslam faces a tough decision on whether to continue to play a defensive style or go full throttle. It might mean introducing himself into the scoring attack. Sham carefully watched Samarra last week and GM Usman Aslam was seen taking notes while scorekeeping the match. Sham desperately need to claim points in this final match before the break as Samarra currently holds the final playoff spot which they are chasing.

Samarra FC 
The Red-blacks pulled off the upset of the season thus far with a complete game against league leaders Andalusia. Samarra came in as the huge underdogs but took control of the match early and never looked back. The squad looks totally transformed from a few weeks ago. The dynamic duo of Danish Khan and Khizer Shahzad continue to complement each other as they wreak havoc on the pitch. Since the addition of Khizer, they have combined for 8 of the teams 9 goals over 3 games. Most importantly, they have settled down on defense with Numair Bari and Umair Jabbar taking responsibility at the back. Workhorses Omar Shakil and Arshad Chawdhry have settled in the backline for their new team and have been much better since their opening week debacle. The squad is doing all this without their GM Umer Jabbar who enjoys summer in Australia until the New Year. Samarra will look at this matchup as a crucial three points if they want to compete for top spot. With both Hejaz and Sham chasing them for the 4th playoff spot, they will need points this week to hold on or move up the standings.

Matchweek Five kicks off at 8:45 Sunday Night.