The Shillong side will look out to change their fortunues, while the winter signings will be available to the hosts for the first time in the league.Rangdajied United will be trying to get out of the rut at the bottom of the table as they face Dempo Sports Club in their second consecutive fixture in Goa after losing 1-0 to Churchill Brothers just four days ago.
The hosts had a decent outing in the Federation Cup, as they made it to the last four of the tournament without losing any match. Though they crashed out in the semi-final stage, the squad had shown promises of pulling off a much better display compared to the first leg of the league.
The Goan side have also roped in Haroon Amiri and Tolgay Ozbey in the winter break and the duo is expected to make their appearance as the team looks to make strides to climb the table.
The signing of Afghanistan skipper Amiri looks to be a masterstroke as that will add the necessary steel for the Goans at the back, a position that has been plaguing them the entire season. Papas will look to forget the early blushes and start anew pushing for glory.
"The composition of the team is well balanced, especially in the striking force where we lacked in the finishing which saw us down below but now with Tolgay [Ozbey] in the team, the finishing will be more sharper and we expect our team to win from now onwards after only three wins from 15 matches we have played so far," stated the Dempo coach.
Talking about their opponents, Rangdajied had shown some amount of fighting spirit as the I-League was wrapping up, getting wins against Pune and Mohun Bagan to put some points on the table. However their woeful start to the season meant they were still rock bottom.
With Manandeep Singh out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, goals have dried up for the Shillong side and the biggest concern for Santosh Kashyap will be the limited attacking options he has for this match.
Though the potential move of Ranti Martins should be enough to boost the team's morale, the injury of Edmar Figueira has made life harder for Kashyap.
"Edmar has a groin injury and Kim Song Yong is suffering from food poisoning. I don't think any of them will be playing. Sandesh Gadkari will take Edmar's place in the starting line-up," the gaffer told Goal on the eve of the match.
A win in this tie can take Rangdajied up to the 11th place while three points in this tie will take Dempo to the fifth place at least for the time being.
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