The Flaming Oranje will look to make it three games unbeaten under new coach Oscar Barreras as they take on a Shillong Lajong side short of ideas and confidence.
SPORTING CLUBE DE GOA
SHILLONG LAJONG FC
Passah, Lallawmzuala, Son, Mawia;
Jacob, Lalramluaha, Lyngdoh, Jibon;
It seems that fortunes have been currently reversed when it comes to Sporting Clube de Goa and Shillong Lajong FC. The Goans were ever-present in the relegation zone under coach Ekendra Singh while Lajong were scaling heights and standing up to the I-League's big boys under Desmond Bulpin.
However Sporting, now under Oscar Barreras are slowly if not convincingly picking themselves up. They have picked up 4 points out of a possible 6 which included a morale-boosting away win at Prayag United. The attacking department was impressive in the last game against Air India as they came away with a well-deserved point despite being a man down.
Sporting will face a Lajong side who have looked clueless in their last four games, the last of which was a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Churchill Brothers. This would be a good opportunity for the Goans to try to pick up maximum points as Bulpin's side are on a downward spiral. But complacency can tend to creep in which has to be suppressed by Barreras as Sporting are not completely out of the lurch yet.
Bulpin's squad is threadbare and he has had to rely on youngsters to fill in for some senior names who are out to injury or suspension. Lajong will revisit the scene of last week's carnage and will hope that they can do better when they face Sporting Clube de Goa.
The Goans do not have an attack as potent as Churchill and this will give them some hope of coming away with a draw or an unlikely win. But the North-eastern side cannot ignore the fact that Oscar Barreras' team are inching their way up the table and will do well to take them seriously.
Sporting Clube de Goa: Oscar Barreras will be without defender Boubacar Keita who was sent off in the previous game against Air India. Joyner Laurenco will most likely slot into the defence despite the club signing Joseph Clemente. Dawson Fernandes returns from his suspension, but Barreras might not want to tinker too much with the team that got him a point at Pune against Air India. Meanwhile Richard Obiora has been released.
Shillong Lajong FC: Desmond Bulpin will be without centre-half Govin Singh, Renedy Singh and striker Friday Gbeneme who are out to injury. The Nigerian striker might be replaced by P.C. Lalhlimthara or Seikhohao Tuboi. However goalkeeper Lalthuanmawia Ralte, Lalramluaha Hmar and Wailadmi Passah return from their suspensions and will be available for selection. Jacob Lalrawngbawla impressed the coach in the game against Churchill and is in line for a start.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sporting have a good record against Lajong winning four of their last five encounters.
- Both sides are among four in the I-League to have conceded more than 25 goals so far. Sporting have let in 26 goals while Lajong stand on 27. ONGC FC (27) and United Sikkim (26) are the other sides in the list.
- Shillong Lajong are one of four sides to have scored the least number of goals in the I-League so far with 12 with the other sides being Salgaocar (12, Pailan Arrows (13) and United Sikkim (13).
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