The southern outfit will look to do the double over the Goan outfit on Monday and secure the title...
Dempo SC host Bengaluru FC in a round 25 I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on Monday in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.
The Goan club are coming into the game after a 15-day break since they played out a 1-1 draw against Mumbai FC. Their record in Goa hasn’t been impressive this term having won six matches from the 14 played.
However since the turn of the year, their form has changed for good following the acquisitions of Tolgay Ozbey, who will be suspended for the tie and Haroon Amiri.
They have a realistic chance of finishing in the top five as a win would propel them to fourth position. They were thrashed 3-1 by Bengaluru FC earlier this season but coach Arthur Papas stated that his side have improved since then.
“Our challenge is to match the motivation and ambition of Bengaluru as they are fighting to win the championship and their players will be very determined
“Bengaluru have the led the league all season and set the standard for results on the field and as a club off the field. They have brought an increased level of professionalism to the I-League which can only be good,” said Papas.
The game against Bengaluru FC will also be a clash of styles as unlike Dempo, the opposition rely primarily on their wing play and do not always play along the ground.
“We are a different team from the first time we played; our style of football is now more ingrained and has become more efficient due to the players that arrived as the season progressed. Our second half of the season has been as good as any team at the top,” he added.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC’s task is straight forward. They have to win once in their next two fixtures and would ideally like to win it on Monday.
In their two away fixtures in Goa earlier this season, it must be noted that they picked up six points. However they are yet to play a game at the Nehru Stadium this season.
They didn’t have to break much sweat for their last victory over Mohun Bagan where defensive mistakes allowed them to score twice.
Following East Bengal’s 2-1 victory over Pune FC, they are just a point Bengaluru FC who have a game in hand.
“There is no pressure on us whatsoever. We are confirmed to finish top three and that was far higher than what was expected of me and my squad. The pressure is on East Bengal who have won back to back games only once this season and were expected to win the League with their squad and finances,” said coach Ashley Westwood.
The English coach is aware that Dempo will look for full points in order to finish as high as possible on the table.
“Dempo are a good side with a great squad who have underachieved this season so I'm sure they will be very tough opponents and will try to get a feather in their cap by beating us,” he mentioned.
All eyes will be on this fixture as it shall give a fair indication or even decide the winner of the I-League 2013-14 season.