The Purple Brigade of Kolkata face the music of the Greens from Goa with each team in grasping distance of table toppers...
Round seven of the I-League calendar takes us to the Kalyani stadium in Kolkata where United Sports Club (USC) take on Salgaocar FC. Nothing less than a win for both teams will do for both teams.
United SC’s form has been chequered of late with them drawing three in a row while winning two and losing one. Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie has acknowledged the absence of creativity in his squad.
"In our last season we did not win one game without Belo Rasaq. He will be suspended and is the backbone of my defense line. This is not a good sign for the upcoming match. Luckily my Indian defender Anupam Sarkar showed more stability than he did last year and together with Deepak Mondal, I am sure we can manage the long ball play from Salgaocar to a secure performance," said Eelco Schattorie.
Ranti Martins, the Nigerian striker, has been off colour lately and the Purple Brigade will hope that he picks up his striking boots soon. Added to this, club will head into their home match on the back of organizational and tactical worries, which will no doubt give fodder to an already dangerous opposition in Salgaocar.
United SC are over reliant on Eric Brown, who has delivered three goals for them, as they hope he can feed Ranti as well.
Salgaocar on the other hand have no such worries as United SC. Derrick Pereira was upset with the defeat against Mohun Bagan but that may be considered as a minor blip on what has been an impressive showing.
They find themselves second in the table on the back of some mighty performances especially against Mumbai FC and Mohammedan Sporting although the loss against the Mariners, their first of the season, has probably burst a few bubbles.
Darryl Duffy has been a revelation so far with six goals in six games. Another important bit of information here is that he has scored the first goal for Salgaocar, in each match, on five of those occasions. This tells you about their over-reliance on him. No doubt the United SC defenders will look to shut him off effectively.
Claude Gnakpa and Twesang Karma are bright sparks too, who could change the game added to the quality of youngster like Gilbert Oliviera on the flank,
Yet their defense looks a fragile when under attack and are prone to losing concentration when their side take the lead. The left flank is conspicuously weak and could be exploited by the wily opposition.
Pereira has spoken at length on how he intends to add talent, especially on the left of his team. He takes with him a fully fit squad for the Kolkata adventure.
In their last eight meetings, Salgaocar hold the edge with four wins to United SC’s two. Two matches have ended as draws.
Salgaocar will no doubt go for the win and given the length and breadth of problems at United SC, punthers and pundits may be tempted to go for a comfortable win for Salgaocar. However, they would severely underestimate the capabilities of an Eelco Schattorie managed side that have managed to ride all adversities so far and are far more capable of throwing the spanner into the Greens’ works again.
A great contest awaits.
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.