The Goans are in the middle of a rut lately and injuries to key players has not helped their cause ahead of the game against the Red Lizards at Pune....
Tabia, Edathodika, Chika, Costa;
Karma, Pierre, Izumi, Paite;
Rebello, Prathamesh, Creson, Selwyn;
Anthony, Carvalho, Climax, Clifford;
Rarely would hear the words Dempo SC and loss of form together in the same sentence. The Goans have been the benchmark for consistency over the years, but that form has deserted them. Armando Colaco's side have picked up 7 points from a possible 24 which saw the coach concede defeat in the title race during the post-match conference after the defeat to Sporting Clube de Goa.
Injuries to key players has not helped Dempo's cause with the likes of Mahesh Gawli, Debabrata Roy and Ryuji Sueoka picking up knocks to rule them out of games. The squad which is packed with India internationals like Clifford Miranda, Anthony Pereira, and Joaquim Abranches needs to stand up and deliver against a Pune FC side who are also not in the best of form.
Pune FC meanwhile can count their lucky stars that they did not slump to a defeat last week to Shillong Lajong FC. The Red Lizard had to fight back from being a goal down on two occasions thanks to goals from super-sub Boima Karpeh. However the highlight of the match was the penalty that wasn't given when Pune custodian Abhra Mondal clearly brought down Sushil Kumar Singh right under the referee's nose.
Mondal had a horror of a game as it was his mistake that allowed Edinho Junior to score his second goal of the game. It won't be a surprise if coach Derrick Pereira decides to give the keeper a breather to get his game right when an opposition of Dempo's caliber come calling.
The Red Lizards have been in poor run of form having won just one game in the last five matches which has seen their title charge slump.
Pune FC: Derrick Pereira will not look to make wholesale changes to his starting XI with Boima Karpeh coming on as a super-sub late into the game. Velington Rocha comes back into the squad along with Caitano Costa who replaces an injured Zohmingliana Ralte.
Dempo: Armando Colaco has a real selection headache. With Rowilson Rodrigues, Debabrata Roy, Mahesh Gawli and Ryuji Sueoka all unavailable, he must make the best use of what resources he has. It is likely that Selwyn Fernandes and Prathamesh Maulingkar are in line for a start against the Red Lizards along with Joaquim Abranches who is set to lead the line along with John Menyongar.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Pune FC have gotten the better of Dempo on four of the last five meetings between the two sides.
- Dempo are the third top goalscorers in the league with 38 goals. Churchill Brothers (46) and Prayag United (44) occupy the top two slots.
Pune FC have conceded just one goal more than Dempo SC who have let in 22 goals this season
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