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  • 26 November 2013
  • • 15:30
  • • Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama, Goa

Salgaocar FC - Bengaluru FC: A test of grit as I-League pacesetters face off

Salgaocar FC - Bengaluru FC: A test of grit as I-League pacesetters face off

Anselm Noronha/Goal

The Greens will face the Steelers at home knowing the gravity that accompanies this match as Westwood vies a solution to the away sides dip in form...

A clash of titans awaits us in round eleven of the I-League. Salgaocar FC, current leaders of the league, go head-to-head against the faltering fumblers of Bengaluru with both teams out to prove a point on their title credentials.

For Salgaocar FC, two draws in a row haven’t done them any favours. Their tie against Rangdajied United should have been wrapped up while Pune FC managed to score a vital goal in the final few minutes to dent Salgaocar’s chances of extending their lead even further. Form is on Derrick Pereira’s side however as he will take his team knowing they have been unbeaten in their last four and will have the psychological edge as Bengaluru have yet to win away.

The form of Darryl Duffy will be key as the Irishman is their main attacking threat. On song, he should prove to be a thorn in this Bengaluru defense. Claude Gnakpa and Gilbert Oliviera have been bedrocks of goals and reliability for Pereira this season and he will hope they continue to do the good work.      

Elucidating the pain of drawing his last two games, Pereira insisted he is looking to gain capital edge over Bengaluru FC.

Westwood and Bengaluru meanwhile seem to be stuck in the doldrums. They have captured two points in their last four games and are averse to playing matches away from home. Somehow, somewhere they don’t seem to be getting their early season mojo back.

“We have absolutely nothing to lose and are under no pressure whatsoever. We were never one of the favourites to win the title. These are the kind of games you look forward to being involved in,” said Westwood on the match.

The strike force hasn't been quite as lethal in the last few games as they’d shown in the earlier bits of the season. So you’d expect the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Sean Rooney and Robin Singh to fire on all cylinders to prevent Salgaocar from escaping further away at the summit. The defense, though of little concern as they haven't conceded all too many goals, will need to be patched up further to prevent leaky ends. John Menyongar seems like a revelation in the middle of the park as could be the vital link for Bengaluru in the centre of the pitch.

A perfectly balanced tie awaits us at Duler, where both teams should proceed with caution so much so that it may negate the entire ebb and flow of the game. However, one will hope that either of these warring teams throws caution into the wind and an all-out title thriller ensues.

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Last Five Matches

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Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Salgaocar FC SAL
Salgaocar FC Salgaocar
Bengaluru FC BNG
Bengaluru FC Bengaluru

Top 3 Predictions

Salgaocar FC SAL
1 - 2
Bengaluru FC BNG
Salgaocar FC SAL
0 - 1
Bengaluru FC BNG
Salgaocar FC SAL
1 - 1
Bengaluru FC BNG