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Preview: City vs Paro FC

If there are any must-see games in Bhutan, then this is one of them. It is the champions of 2019 versus the champions of 2020 in this midweek clash at Changlimithang. Some may call this the Clash of Titans. June 08 is the date to be marked.

Head to Head
The two giants have locked horns six times so far, seven including our meet at Samtse in 2019. In a domestic league the two teams share three wins each, with City securing a double last season. The 2020 title winning campaign also saw this fixture in favour of the host scoring four in a six goal thriller at Changlimithang. New signing Kencho Tobgay scored a brace against his former team while another new signing Kinga Rabgay and our ever-reliable captain Tshering Dorji got a goal each back then. Tshering Dorji is likely to miss the next clash with a swelling suffered during our game against Gelephu FC.

This fixture, back in national league 2018, also decided the title as 2-1 win for City meant Paro FC had to settle for the second spot while Transport United, marginally but successfully, defended their title. Ngawang Dhendup was heading the title winning team.

Current Form
Thimphu City and Paro FC will meet each other as two of the three teams with 100% record in this season so far. If this is extended to last five games, then City has two losses, losing the 2020 closing game away to the ultimate runners up Ugyen Academy and to Club Eagles in the AFC preliminaries at Male.

Defending champions are on a 13-game unbeaten streak at Changlimithang, drawing only once. The last time we lost a game on this historic ground was in this same fixture back in 2019. This was also the last time City failed to score in the domestic competition. Since then, with the new boss at the helm, reds have scored in 16 out of 17 games, failing to score only once against Club Eagles in the continental challenge. Ngawang administered 61 goals, eight of them against our next opponent.

Striker Yeshi Dorji has scored all three goals for Paro FC so far. At the back, they have kept two clean sheets in two games played this season so far. A formidable defence with an in-form forward can prove to be a gruelling encounter for Ngawang and his boys. However, the reds could bank on the free scoring mode they are in. City has been able to punish their opponents on every opportunity received.

Injury Update
Tshering Dorji might require more time than expected to recover from the swelling he suffered. Thimphu City’s top scorer last season will indeed be a big miss should he not be available for the big clash.

Ngawang Jamphel is progressing well in his recuperation but might still miss the game as he has not been able to train with the team so far.

Versatile defender Sherub Dorji continues to be sidelined since incurring injury during our continental preparations.

It is a much anticipated clash. The outcome, at this early stage of the tournament, may not necessarily decide the title but it will have a significant impact. Both the teams will be looking for nothing less than three points to take home.