Both the sides head into the clash in need of a win, though for contrasting reasons. Pune FC hope to re-kindle their title challenge, while the Goans look to stave away relegation
Tabia, Edathodika, Chika, Gurjinder;
Karma, Pierre, Izumi, Paite;
Nicolau, Augustin, Sobrosa, Cardozo;
Francis, Wilkinson, Rocus, Gilbert;
The weekend game between Pune FC and Salgaocar FC will represent a clash of teams from the opposite ends of the table. While the home side sits comfortably in fourth spot, 3 points above (with 2 games in hand) their nearest rivals Prayag United, Salgaocar face relegation blues this season, as they sit just 2 points above thirteenth placed United Sikkim FC, albeit with a game in hand.
Pune FC manager Derrick Pereira, who plied his trade for The Greens for 14 seasons, will look to bounce from their recent lean patch which has seen them amass a mere point from a possible 9.
While the refereeing hasn’t been kind to them, their profligate finishing in front of goal has cost them dearly with James Moga being the prime culprit. They are eight points adrift league leaders Churchill Brothers, with a game in hand, and shall hence look to cut their lead on top.
Salgaocar FC seemed to picked themselves up by registering a 2-0 win over Mohun Bagan however their good work was undone as they lost to fellow strugglers Sporting Clube de Goa last week.
With nine matches to go, the Goan club is still in the process of figuring their best eleven given that they have replaced all their three foreign recruits of the summer. While the new signings have performed well, the squad still lacks confidence and suffers from a bout of inconsistency.
Pune FC - Khangthang Paite is back in the squad, having missed the tie against East Bengal, as he couldn't play against his parent club, as per the norms of his loan deal. Vellington Rocha and Nikhil Kadam have also found a place in the squad of 18.
Salgaocar FC - Rahul Kumar is unavailable due to suspension, while Luciano Sobrosa and Fulganco Cardozo return from injury
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- In the last nine matches between the two sides in all competition, Pune FC have enjoyed the upper hand, winning 6 of the clashes, with a solitary draw.
- Pune FC have registered a solitary win in their last six home games, against Prayag United.
- Salgaocar meanwhile have won only once on their travels outside Goa, against Mumbai FC at the Balewadi Stadium.
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