Federation Cup Match Preview: Prayag United vs United Sikkim - Playing for pride and nothing more
In this inconsequential Group D tie, Prayag United will look to salvage some lost pride when they take on minnows, United Sikkim who are still without any points...
By Kaustav Bera
United Sikkim FC are languishing at the bottom of Group D, having conceded 4 goals without scoring any. After narrowly losing out to Pune FC, they were swept aside by holders Salgaocar FC by three goals.
In their final match against Prayag United, United Sikkim need to regain some lost pride as a victory will do great things for their morale, especially with the I-League just around the corner.
Philippe De Ridder who has made his team play in a counter attacking 5-3-2 should probably look for a more attack minded formation as this tactic is certainly not working for them. Experienced centre back, Anwar Ali needs to hold fort and organise his defense so that they do not leak any more goals.
United Sikkim need to give a better account of themselves.
Amidst expectations of an all conquering Prayag United side after their massive spending spree this season, Sanjoy Sen's men were knocked out of the Federation Cup after a loss and a draw in their first two encounters. Even with the superstars at their disposal, the lack of teamwork has undone the star power.
While Sen grumbles about the quality of pitches, Prayag had to adapt as other top teams have. A lack of concentration at the back allowed Pune FC to tie the match late in the last match which cost them their ticket to the semi-finals. Same was the case with Salgaocar FC in their opening fixture.
Sen also needs to figure out his players' preferred positions, as playing Carlos Hernandez behind two main strikers had been the best way to utilize the Costa Rican's talent, as evident in their last match. Meanwhile Ranti Martins has not yet found his midas touch yet, which made him the most deadly striker in the I-League for two seasons running.
With Carlos playing behind the two main strikers, in Ranti Martins and Mohammad Rafique, Sanjoy Sen will probably go for a 4-3-1-2 or a fluid 4-4-2. Kayne Vincent can be a potent weapon from the bench. In a match played only for pride, it would be an opportunity for Sen to test out his best playing XI.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Lester Fernandez's signing from Pune FC was a first for Indian football, as this was a deal made between two clubs which involved paying a transfer fee to the club.
- United Sikkim coach, Philippe De Ridder has coached both Prayag United and East Bengal.
- Carlos Hernandez was part of the squad that represented Costa Rica in the 2006 World Cup.
- United Sikkim failed to qualify for the main draw of last year's Federation Cup.
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Top 3 Predictions
United Sports Club 4-0 United Sikkim F.C.
- 25 %
United Sports Club 2-0 United Sikkim F.C.
- 25 %
United Sports Club 0-2 United Sikkim F.C.
- 25 %
|I-League (I-L)||23-Mar-2013||United Sikkim F.C. 0 - United Sports Club 1|
|I-League (I-L)||10-Nov-2012||United Sports Club 10 - United Sikkim F.C. 1|
|India - Federation Cup (INDF)||24-Sep-2012||United Sports Club 2 - United Sikkim F.C. 0|
|United Sports Club|
|10-Dec-2013||United Sports Club 0 - Dempo SC 0||I-L|
|06-Dec-2013||Mohun Bagan A.C. 4 - United Sports Club 0||I-L|
|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|
|13||Lukram James Singh||Midfielder|