Pune FC - Air India Preview: Final chance for the Airmen to restore some pride
A big game for both the teams, as I-League title contenders Pune FC take on struggling Air India in a rescheduled match from Round 5 on Sunday...
By Anselm Noronha
Kadam, Edathodika, Tabia, Gurjinder;
Subash, Douhou, Lalrempuia, Paite;
Baldip, Bheke, Gagandeep, Prem;
Pradeep, Chakrabarty, Shetty;
Pune FC, currently second with 46 points from 24 matches, would want to make the best of their opportunity to pull clear of East Bengal (43) who have played a game less, and draw closer to leaders Churchill Brothers (51) who have all but secured the title until the Red Machines have earned another point with two games to go.
The Red Lizards might have peaked at the right time, but will look back at the points they have dropped at home, having lost and drawn thrice respectively among four wins from 11 home matches.
Air India, meanwhile, are at the other end of the spectrum. Although finishing above the relegation zone is not going to save their season, as the Pilots have been ruled out by the AIFF (All India Football Federation) from the next season's I-League for having failed to meet the licensing criterion of being privatised.
The club is still believed to be making last ditch efforts to merge with a private firm and rename themselves as "Centram India FC". However the players have a cause of their own - to earn themselves handsome contract in the coming term and by putting in a top performance, by which they can impress the scouts of other clubs.
Pune FC: Shahinlal Meloly might be given a start ahead of Arnab Mondal in the goal, while Nikhil Kadam might replace defender Srikanth Ramu who has picked three yellow cards so far.
Air India: First choice goalkeeper Bubai Singh will be available for selection after serving a one-match ban.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Pune FC striker James Moga (pictured) has scored 14 times in the I-League this season and is currently the fourth-highest goalscorer.
- Pune FC have a success rating of 50.00% at home from their last eight matches, which is double than that of Air India's away form in as many matches.
- Pune FC have won four, whereas Air India have lost the same number of matches, in their last five outings respectively.
- Air India have conceded 56 goals so far, and in doing so have surpased United Sikkim's record (54), after their 0-6 defeat to Pune FC last week.
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Top 3 Predictions
Pune FC 3-1 Air India F.C.
- 21.74 %
Pune FC 2-0 Air India F.C.
- 17.39 %
Pune FC 0-1 Air India F.C.
- 13.04 %
|I-League (I-L)||28-Apr-2013||Pune FC 4 - Air India F.C. 0|
|I-League (I-L)||20-Apr-2013||Air India F.C. 0 - Pune FC 6|
|I-League (I-L)||22-Jan-2012||Air India F.C. 2 - Pune FC 2|
|I-League (I-L)||24-Nov-2011||Pune FC 2 - Air India F.C. 0|
|I-League (I-L)||04-Mar-2011||Pune FC 2 - Air India F.C. 1|
|21-Dec-2013||Mohun Bagan A.C. 3 - Pune FC 1||I-L|
|15-Dec-2013||United Sports Club 1 - Pune FC 2||I-L|
|11-Dec-2013||Rangdajied United F.C. 3 - Pune FC 2||I-L|
|07-Dec-2013||Pune FC 1 - Mumbai FC 2||I-L|
|01-Dec-2013||Pune FC 1 - United Sports Club 1||I-L|
|15||Johny Chand Singh||Midfielder|
|10||Elijah Obagbemiro Junior||Striker|
|13||Ong Teshering Lepcha||Midfielder|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed