The Kolkata outfit will look to comeback in style after dropping five points in the last two outings...
UNITED SIKKIM FC
PRAYAG UNITED SC
Deepak, Rasaq, Gouramangi, Singh;
Shylo, Hernandez, Asif, Vineeth
Prayag United tasted their first defeat of the I-League season, when they went down to a spirited Shillong Lajong outfit even though star striker Ranti Martins picked up a brace. This also led to Sanjoy Sen tendering his resignation with Eelco Shattorie, his replacement already having joined the team.
|Anwar Ali will have to be at his best to stop the rampaging Ranti
This will be the Dutchman's first test as he takes charge of the Kolkata side. He would look to bring back Gouramangi Moirangthem in the centre of defense to partner Bello Rasaq after Anupam Sarkar looked ill at ease in the last match.
K.Asif will partner Carlos Hernandez in the heart of the midfield while Mohammed Rafique should partner Ranti Martins upfront. However the Dutchman may as well switch it around tactically playing Ranti upfront and dropping Rafi to bring in creative playmaker Lalkamal Bhowmick who has thus far being wasted on the bench.
A good start might go a long way to establishing themselves as serious title contenders, which the owners certainly want, especially after investing big money.
|Carlos Hernandez needs to pull the strings for Prayag United
United Sikkim meanwhile were down to ten-men in their last match against a Pailan Arrows side, but held on to a creditable draw after Bhaichung Bhutia was sent off, after coming on as a substitute.
The north east side are a difficult team to beat at home given that they have more than 10000 people cheering for them. They have made a decent start to the season having amassed 4 points in as many matches.
This will be their first real test as they travel for their first away fixture. And the going will certainly not be easy as they face the high-spending Prayag United who are more than motivated to impress their new coach hoping to build a good impression on him.
Anwar Ali and the returning Sandesh Jhingan will have their hands full with Ranti Martins, who already leads the goalscoring charts with 6 goals this season.
Prayag United: With a new coach in charge, there may be changes in the squad, with Gouramangi expected to be back in the centre of the defence. The wasteful Mohammad Rafique may get the axe and Lalkamal Bhowmick might be drafted in to add more creativitiy to the midfield. Lester Fernandez might also get a start under the new coach.
United Sikkim: Defender Sandesh Jhingan should be back for selection while Bhaichung Bhutia is suspended for the tie. Safar Sardar, who is on loan from East Bengal will also be available for selection. Budhiram Tudu too may miss out due to injury or be used as a substitute.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Dutchman Eelco Shattorie who takes charge of Prayag United, has been coaching for 12 years including stints at VVV Venlo and AZ Alkmar in Netherlands
- Prayag United player Lester Fernandez was the first player to be transferred between two I-League clubs with Pune FC being paid a transfer fee.
- United Sikkim coach, Philippe De Ridder had formerly coached Kolkata giants, East Bengal and also had a short stint with Prayag United.
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