Without a win in their last 18 encounters, nothing less than a win would do for the home team who are set to host the Oilmen on familiar territory...
UNITED SIKKIM FC
Farid, Jhingan, Ali, Lugun;
Thupden, Hayes, Matkin, Das;
Gawas, Sali, Odeola, Gurung;
Sangha, Brown, Bisht, Katsumi;
United Sikkim could have registered their second win of the season in their last match in the North-eastern derby if not for Shillong Lajong's late comeback in the match after the Snow Lions had taken the lead. USFC's only I-League win thus far remains the one against Salgaocar FC in round one.
The Bhaichung Bhutia co-owned side, in their debut appearance among Indian football's elite, have found the going tough given that they lie low on the table with 12 points in 19 matches.
United Sikkim have recently added Australian midfielder Steve Hayes and Spanish striker Pablo Rodriguez Aracil in order to strengthen their side. It would be interesting to see how the new players can contribute to their new club's target of surviving relegation.
|Can United Sikkim's foreign contingent bring about the difference?
On the other hand, we have Santosh Kashyap who has made a name for himself as an expert to potentially help any team from facing the drop and at the same time give his team a commendable finish in the league as he has done in the past with Air India.
ONGC FC's current position, that is from once rock-bottom to the top half of the table (7th), speaks volumes of the challenge United Sikkim have ahead of them on Sunday.
Add to that, ONGC are familiar with the Paljor Stadium having played the final qualifying round of second division last year and were also the Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament winners on the soil of Gangtok in 2010.
United Sikkim FC: After roping in Pablo Aracil, USFC have completed their foreign quota by signing midfielder Steve Hayes from Australia. With John Matkin and Nurudeen Salau making the other two of the foreigners, the club has released South Korean goalkeeper Yoon Tae and Costa Rican midfielder Michael Rodriguez.
ONGC FC: Bimal Minz will miss the tie as the defender has picked four yellow cards in ONGC's previous matches while the rest of the squad is expected to be the same from the one that faced Mohun Bagan last Friday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- United Sikkim FC had beaten ONGC FC on both occasions while in the I-League division two last season.
- When the two sides met last December in the I-League, the game ended in a 1-1 draw at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.
- Both United Sikkim and ONGC FC has seen a change in personnel in their head coach this season.
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