As the new season kicks-off, the Black and White outfit face the Red Lizards in their opening I-League fixture...
The Kolkata outfit have been one of the biggest spenders of the summer having brought in the likes of Tolgay Ozbey, Josimar Silva, Luciano Sobrosa and Penn Orji.
The Black and Whites haven't had a good campaign in the top division the last two times when they made the cut. They shall hope to erase the memories of the past by putting in a commendable performance at home against Pune FC. With Luciano Sobrosa being injured, it is likely that Sheikh Azim might get the nod to start.
The Red Lizards are in a transitional phase after a mass exodus of players over the summer, especially upfront. They had a brilliant campaign last time around where they missed out on the title by not much. However given the number of changes in their squad and a new playing style being adopted, it remains to be seen if the club can pose a title challenge.
The going isn't easy for the Pune outfit as this tie will be the first of three consecutive away games. They will have to rely on Douhou Pierre and Arata Izumi's presence in the middle of the park as Snoei will look to implement his preferred 4-3-3 formation.