The title contenders clash with the Purple brigade this weekend in a round 22 clash of the I-League...
Title contenders Salgaocar FC will face United Sports Club on Saturday in an I-League encounter at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco.
Salgaocar will be looking to continue their tremendous winning streak of five games when they take on a United Sports Club side that are short on confidence. The Greens are coming on the back of a morale boosting derby win over rivals Dempo SC in a game where they displayed resilience in not allowing the opposition to score.
Howewer they have had just a couple of days rest since then and fatigue will play a huge factor.
Nicolau Colaco hasn't recovered from the injury suffered in the game against Shillong Lajong, meanwhile Francis Fernandez is fully match fit and could be a probable starter.
The Salgaocar defense have been rock solid in recent games, conceding just 1 goal in five games which has been an important aspect in their resurgence to the top. Chika Wali has been the pillar of strength in the heart of defense and it will be difficult to get past him in the kind of form that he is in.
The strike partnership of Dudu Omagbemi and Darryl Duffy will be the one to look forward to in this game again. Dudu didn’t get on the score sheet in the last game but he gave jitters to the Dempo defense throughout the game. Duffy scored a goal with a brilliant finish and took his tally to 11 goals only behind Sunil Chhetri in the top scorer’s list.
"We are concentrating more on the recovery of players from the last match. Everybody is okay, except for Rahul [Kumar] who has got a hamstring strain. Otherwise the rest of the team is the same and our approach also will be the same. It all depends on team work and team efforts. Hoping for a good match and a good result," said coach Derrick Pereira.
United Sports Club however faced an excruciating defeat at the hands of the league leaders Bengaluru FC at home in their previous game and lie low in the relegation zone.
They are definitely missing out on the services of Ranti Martins who was transferred in the winter transfer window. The departure of Eelco Schattorie has seen them go down in a downward spiral of some sorts. Newly appointed technical director Subrata Bhattacharya has not yet got his tactics right and with Salgaocar it’s going to be a difficult situation again.
Without a victory from their last ten games would not give them much confidence going into the tie but they should grab this chance of playing a fatigued Salgaocar side and look for all three points.
The last meeting between these two ended on a sour note for united Sports Club when Salgaocar ran out 2-0 winners at the Kalyani Stadium.