After United SC were thumped 4-0 by Mohun Bagan and Dempo aslo ended up losing in the Goan derby, both teams will look to respond...
Round 14 of the I-League brings us an interesting encounter among unlikely strugglers Dempo SC who languish in the bottom half of the table and United SC whose good run of form has been halted abruptly by a 4-0 rout at the hands of Mohun Bagan.
Dempo SC too have been winless in their last four matches and their creditable win against Churchill Brothers which was supposed to kick-start a revival sadly failed to do just that.
The Goan club will also be missing coach, Arthur Papas who has travelled back to Australia due to personal reasons. Assistant coach, Mauricio Afonso who oversaw the 1-0 loss to Sporting Clube de Goa will also be in charge for the Kolkata trip where they face Mohun Bagan.
Dempo have consistently leaked in goals while their failure to find a cutting edge upfront has cost them this season. The new pairing of Holicharan Narzary and Alwyn George worked hard but failed to score against Sporting Goa.
Afonso will look to overturn the result of the reverse fixture earlier this season when they lost 2-1 to United SC although the unavailability of Beto won't make it any easy.
"We have a young squad this year and are trying to play our best. Beto is unavailable and I think a point from here would be good."
Meanwhile, Eelco Schattorie will look to secure all three points as they look to bounce back from the last round's disappointment. The availability of inspirational midfielder Lalkamal Bhowmick will lift the team especially in light of increasing injury concerns with first choice goalkeepers Ishan Debnath and Sangram Mukherjee all missing out due to injuries.
"We are at a T-junction now. We don't know whether to go left or right. We need these three points desperately. Every other I-League team has some new impulse like Yakubu in Mumbai FC or the (IMG) Reliance players in some of the teams. We also need something of that sort. Lalkamal will be starting tomorrow and I will be happy to see him play the full match," he told the press.
In all probability, Eric Brown will partner Ranti Martins upfront with Mohammed Rafique operating in behind them. Anupam Sarkar who has been in indifferent form in central defense might also be dropped with Hasan Al Moustafa deputizing there. Meanwhile, third-choice keeper, Abhijit Das will probably have to make his I-League debut.
The coach did have fine words for the performance of young midfielder Souvik Chakraborty who had been the only bright spark of late.
"Souvik has played well in the midfield. He has shown good promise and looks motivated as well."
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.