Derrick Pereira’s side will be desperate to stop the steep decline in their performance graph, but it won’t be easy against the Steelers...
After suffering their first defeat on home soil, Bengaluru FC will now face Salgaocar in their in a widely anticipated face-off between the shrewd tacticians Ashley Westwood and Derrick Pereira.
The newcomers are still leading the charts, but they will be alert to ensure that their loss against East Bengal in the last weekend doesn’t kick start a slump in form.
"Salgaocar is a team with history and I am certain they are title contenders. We will have do all we can to try and match them," Ashley Westwood, the gaffer of the outfit cautioned his side before the match.
The coach also stressed that the unbeaten streak at home was putting a bit of extra pressure on the squad. "The morale of the team is good. If anything, the defeat was a relief in a way. The monkey is off our back and the team will play without any pressure,” he remarked.
Bengaluru struggled in the absence of defender John Johnson in the last match, but he is now available after serving a one-match suspension to keep the prolific Darryl Duffy at bay.
Speaking of the Goan side, the outfit has lost their way after a brilliant start to the campaign, and is now going through a six-match winless streak.
Karma Tsewang will not be available in the fixture due to a knee injury he suffered in their last game and is expected to be out for at least a couple of months. The Goan side have roped in Freiman Peixoto on-loan from Lakshmi Prasad, a side based from Mapusa, and the midfielder is expected to be on the bench on Saturday.
“We’ve had a good start to the season but things haven’t panned out as expected. We do need reinforcements and the January window will give us the chance to do that. We’ve played Bengaluru before and it without taking anything away from them, we played a bad game. But we are confident of putting on a better show," the Salgaocar coach told on the eve of the match.
While a win in the clash will cement the pole position of the newcomers during the long Federation Cup break, three points will take Salgaocar back in the reckoning for title.
Follow Atanu Mitra on
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.