MALAPPURAM: DEFENDING champions NSS College, Manjeri will have a tough task as they start their campaign in TNIE GOAL 2017 taking on MD College, Pazhanji in the pre-quarterfinal of the championship at the Malappuram District Sports Council Stadium here on Sunday.
NSS, who blanked Kannur SN College 2-0 to win the fifth edition of GOAL last year, are expected to field a starting XI which will feature the likes of Jishnu Balakrishnan who represented Kerala in the recently concluded Santosh Trophy south zone matches.
“The return of Jishnu to the side is a big boost. But our objective will be to click together as a team on Sunday,” said NSS coach P M Sudhir Kumar.
He also has players like wing back Mohammed Jasim, who was part of the state camp, and impressive defender Sanid Balan at his disposal.
However, Sudhir will miss out on the services of Arjun Jayaraj and Shihad Nelliparamban who lit up GOAL 2016 but are currently with the Calicut University side.
“We have players who can make up for their absence and are confident of defending the title,” he said.