Week 5 Rumours

As we restart Season 4 after the holiday break, every team still has a shot at the post-season. The post season schedule has been modified based on your feedback, details are below:

Final regular season game - Feb 25
Semi-final Leg #1 - Mar 4
Semi-final Leg #2 - Mar 18
Finals - Mar 25

Andalusia FC vs.  Sham FC (8:45PM on Field 3)

Andalusia FC
The Spaniards come back from the break looking for a fresh start and some good health. In their final game before the holidays, Andalusia squandered a late lead to come away with their first point of the season against an undermanned Jerusalem squad. They will be put to the test early facing league leaders Sham in their first game back. Andalusia has been cursed with injury issues since their inception. Supporters are calling on management to fire the entire training staff and hire new team doctors. After losing their first round pick to injury, there is still questions about Humeid Masood’s hamstring. The team is hopeful that a full month off will have him ready for the second half. Andalusia have scored only one goal in their last two matches which won’t cut it against the league’s top clubs. Taqi Ahmed, Sameer Masood and a healthy Humeid will need to carry the burden if AFC will rise back into playoff contention. We expect some shuffling of the positions with Shaharyar Khan maybe moving back to defense to have a ball carrier from the back. It isn’t do or die (yet) but they will need to come away with at least a point to carry momentum into some more important matchups in the coming weeks.

Sham FC
Sham remain the only undefeated team in BISL after a convincing win over Samarra in week 4. Sham have a few underwhelming performances but played their best match in the final week before the break. They definitely have the firepower to score plenty of goals with the addition of Ali Chaudhry and their defence has allowed the least shots against their rookie goalkeeper Omer Chaudhry. Their biggest question mark was their goalkeeping and some would argue he hasn’t been tested yet but good on their defence for keeping the firing range off target. Defender Asif ibn Rehana declared himself only available for half the games this season, since he has played all 4 so far, opposing GMs are wondering if he will be MIA the rest of the way. Ahmad Alvi, another player with perpetual attendance issues has been in uniform for all games thus far. We wondering if GM Muhammad Shah has imposed a fine for missed games. If that’s the case, Adeel Dosani might have just doubled his league fees. Sham face Andalusia in the first game after the break, they defeated the Spaniards 4-1 in the first game of the season and will be hoping to keep their streak alive. 

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

Jerusalem FC
JFC have shown grit and determination all season after some key absences to keep themselves in the middle of the table. In week 4, they found a late goal to steal a point and keep themselves in fourth place. However, JFC fans won’t accept anything less than a premier finish so they can’t be satisfied with their standing. Their biggest question mark coming into the season was the striker position but those worries seem to be behind them as Jibran Waqar seems to improve week over week. Jerusalem won’t be the highest scoring side this year and will need to continue to keep opponents off the scoreboard for results. Rookie keeper Basil Jeelany has been steady between the pipes after a rough start to his season. GM Saqib Dadabhoy has been managing adversity with the club early on and will be hoping the team has turned the corner. JFC face Hejaz in week 5 after they came away with a draw against their rival last time out. Jerusalem cannot afford to come away empty in their crucial affair with Hejaz and Andalusia chasing them in the standings. With sturdy defenders Shaheen Limbada and Atif Mian back in the squad, they will be hoping they can go full throttle this week.  

Hejaz FC
Hejaz find themselves in a familiar spot to last year, outside of a playoff spot but with plenty of matches to turn around their season. They squandered a golden opportunity against Anatolia in week 4 who were without Zain Khilji while Nehad Shihab barely played more than one half. They rung the bar are few times but failed to capitalize on some routine chances that would have turned the match in their favour. New addition Mohammad Chabayta showed flashes of brilliance but looked timid in his debut as we found him sitting on the bench in the final moments of the match. He will be asked to press forward and take control of the striker position if this team is going to score more goals. Omar El-Askalany has been brilliant with the ball and been the catalyst for their offence but needs someone to provide a clinical finish to his runs. GM Ibrahim Sardar was seen motivating his troops on the sidelines after their last match. Hejaz face off against their rivals Jerusalem this week. Jerusalem sits five points clear of Hejaz but that lead could be cut in half this week if Hejaz come out on top. With their following match against Andalusia, Hejaz must be looking to make a move in the next two weeks. 

Anatolia FC vs. Samarra FC (9:45PM on Field 3)

Anatolia FC 
The Turks showed grit and determination in week 4 to scrape out a 2-1 victory over Hejaz. With a new formation, the lineup sheet had Riaz Murad playing in goal with Umair Sheikh moving up to forward in place of absent GM Zain Khilji. Something clearly worked in the tweaks, as the Canaries looked in control all match. Sheikh made an impact in his new role scoring a goal and helping set up the winner. The victory injected new life into the squad who rallied without their captain to earn three big points. With Captain Khilji back from tying the knot, it will be interesting to see if how the squad responds. First round pick Nasir Rehman hasn’t disappointed so far and has been the best defender in the league. Last match Nasir played all game and was still outpacing his teammates at the end of the match. We are still waiting on word on whether Riaz Murad will be standing between the pipes or if Umair Sheikh will be cleared to go back in goal. This week, Anatolia take on Samarra and will be looking for redemption after a thrashing last time out. The team expects to have a full squad this week with a chance to move up the standings.  

Samarra FC
Samarra ran into a roadblock right before the break with a 4-1 loss to Sham but the squad still remains in high spirits after dominating all their other matches. Samarra has scored the most goals thus far season and even outshot their opponent in their only loss. The Men in Black will be looking to correct their errors and come out flying again in the second half. The squad will finally welcome back their GM Umer Jabbar who has been vacationing in Europe and management is hoping he has maintained match fitness. Umer should help solidify their defence allowing Ali Wadee and Zeem Khan to play in the middle of the pitch. The squad is waiting for a fitness test to clear goalkeeper Hamza Waheed after he suffer a head injury in their last match. Khizer Shahzad leads the league in shot attempts and has been the catalyst to their offense. However, the manager expects him to move his shooting percentage above 25%. In their first match back, they face Anatolia FC. In the opening match of the season, Samarra put 7 goals past Anatolia for a convincing win,  but Anatolia are beginning to find form so expecting a similar result would be foolish.  

We get back on the pitch this coming Sunday, and we await the results of where each team stands at the official midpoint of the schedule.