Arthur Papas' Dempo is still struggling to find their rhythm while the team from Pune will look to capitalise on the same in a round 11 fixture...Dempo SC have both their form this season and their past record against Pune FC to worry about as they have managed to win only once in the last five games against them.
The Golden Eagles are occupying a rather unfamiliar position on the table (10th) after playing nine matches from 10 rounds. While they have created a lot of scoring chances, the strikers have definitely been a massive let down by not converting those chances.
Add to that, Arthur Papas will also have to deal with defensive woes with both his regular centre-backs in Simon Colosimo and Shinnosuke Honda nursing injuries. While looking at the options that the coach has, Mahesh Gawli is yet to recover from his knee injury, Cresson Antao is kept out of his plans, besides Samir Naik and Shallum Pires are out with long term injuries. Midfielder Mandar Rao Dessai is reported not completely fit as well.
"It’s not that we are playing bad to drop points, but rather our boys are not able to utilise the chances that come their way. We hope they don’t commit the same mistakes against a side who will go all out for a win to go at the top of the ladder," said Papas.
Pune FC, with 17 pointes from eight matches, will meanwhile want to make the best of their match in hand as compared to Salgaocar FC and Bengaluru FC who are on 18 points each after their round 11 fixture on Tuesday, and also have the opportunity to leapfrog the two teams with a win over Dempo SC.
Keeping the same in mind, their coach, Mike Snoei admitted, “It’s a good opportunity to take the lead again, which in itself is good motivation for my boys to start with a mission on mind. I must add that we respect the opponents and I believe we can do a good job.”
“Dempo are struggling and I think they need time. But one thing I must say is in their last game (against United SC) they were a better lot, but ended disappointed. We must be careful with this team (Dempo). They cannot be left,” Snoei added.
The Red Lizards' weaknesses have also been exposed playing at the Duler stadium wherein they lost 2-0 to Sporting Clube de Goa and laboured a draw against Salgaocar FC after going a goal down where they got lucky with the referee awarding them a contentious penalty.
Snoei will have the advantage of choosing from a full strength squad with Callum Angus being back in contention for a start.
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