Federation Cup Match Preview: Pune FC vs Prayag United - Can Sanjoy Sen's side bounce back?
In the second round of matches in Group D, Prayag United will look to bounce back after losing their opening encounter, while Pune will look to keep the winning run intact...
By Kaustav Bera
Pune FC, after a rather disappointing run in the Durand Cup have bounced back to record an opening day victory against new boys United Sikkim FC. Even though it was against a relatively weak opposition, it will provide a morale boost to the team.
However they are up for a sterner test against big spending Prayag United, who will look for revenge after losing their first match in the competition. In the absence of ace marksman, James Moga it was Jeje Lalpekhlua who had stepped up in the last match, and will look to do it for his team again.
He will be ably supported by the creative midfield duo of Arata Izumi and captain Douhou Pierre while new signing Daisuke Nishiguchi will be expected to play a role as well. The raw pace of Subash Singh can also trouble the Prayag full backs. However an area for concern for the Red Lizards will be the middle of the park where they shall miss the experience of Sukhwinder Singh, who is recuperating from an injury with Mumtaz Akhtar yet to find his bearings.
Jeje Lalpekhlua should build on the goal he scored in the first match
Amidst expectations of an all conquering Prayag United side after their massive spending spree this season, Sanjoy Sen's men largely disappointed in their opening day loss to Salgaocar FC. Even though star man Carlos Hernandez who had been signed from Melbourne Victory in the A-league looked sharp, Ranti Martins Soleye needs to come back to his goal scoring frenzy in order to lead Prayag to victory.
Subrata Paul, who had only appeared as a late sub, is expected to start which should be a great boost to the Kolkata side's chances as the star custodian would give a certain solidity to the defense.
Meanwhile Pune FC have to be wary of the threat of Lester Fernandez, a player they know well having plied his trade in Pune earlier, from the flank.
Sanjoy Sen is most likely to line up his boys in a standard 4-4-2 formation with Carlos Hernandez and Ranti expected to be the two up top. Lal Kamal Bhowmick is expected to play the role of the creative playmaker while Kayne Vincent can be expected to come off the bench to add to the attack if Prayag fail to break through the Pune defence, as a win is necessary to their maintain hopes of progress.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Lester Fernandez and Subrata Paul who now play for Prayag United, represented Pune FC last term.
- Pune FC's Daisuke Nishiguchi graduated out of the same football academy as Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa in Japan.
- Carlos Hernandez was part of the squad that represented Costa Rica in the 2006 World Cup.
- In fact, Lester Fernandez' transfer was reportedly the first such deal between two football clubs in India which involved a transfer fee to the previous club.
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Top 3 Predictions
United Sports Club 2-1 Pune FC
- 33.33 %
United Sports Club 8-8 Pune FC
- 16.67 %
United Sports Club 2-0 Pune FC
- 16.67 %
|I-League (I-L)||01-Dec-2013||Pune FC 1 - United Sports Club 1|
|I-League (I-L)||09-Jan-2013||United Sports Club 2 - Pune FC 0|
|I-League (I-L)||22-Dec-2012||Pune FC 3 - United Sports Club 1|
|India - Federation Cup (INDF)||22-Sep-2012||United Sports Club 1 - Pune FC 1|
|I-League (I-L)||12-Feb-2012||Pune FC 2 - United Sports Club 1|
|United Sports Club|
|01-Dec-2013||Pune FC 1 - United Sports Club 1||I-L|
|28-Nov-2013||East Bengal F.C. 1 - United Sports Club 1||I-L|
|23-Nov-2013||Dempo SC 1 - United Sports Club 2||I-L|
|02-Nov-2013||United Sports Club 3 - Churchill Brothers SC 2||I-L|
|27-Oct-2013||United Sports Club 0 - Salgaocar F.C. 2||I-L|
|13||Lukram James Singh||Midfielder|
|10||Singam Subash Singh||Striker|