Dempo Sports Club coach Armando Colaco will have to reshuffle his defence ahead of the team’s vital clash against Sporting Clube de Goa at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Sunday. The kick-off is at 4pm.
Dempo haven’t had the best of time in the I-League and find themselves seven points behind leaders Churchill Brothers Sports Club. The defending champions, though, are still within a chance of retaining the title, although, they first need to tackle Sporting Clube without three key defenders.
Mahesh Gawli, Valerian Rebello and Samir Naik are all unavailable for the Sunday clash and coach Armando Colaco has been left to dig deep into the reserves to fill
Prathamesh Maulingkar and Selwyn Fernandes are likely to be the replacements, although, as is commonly known, Colaco could spring a surprise with some junior names.
There is nothing much to worry with the rest of the positions. The strikeforce and midfield remains as formidable as ever.
Sporting Clube de Goa are on a high after registering four wins on the trot and remaining unbeaten for six matches. In six games, they have also conceded just one goal, a record any team could be proud of.
“It’s all down to a lot of hard work and intensive training. The team is now mentally very strong,” said Sporting coach Oscar Bruzon Barreras.
Sporting have interestingly defeated two Goan teams Salgaocar Sports Club and Churchill Brothers, comprehensively, and are now seeking to complete their turnaround with the prized scalp of Dempo. It will not be easy as they lost 0-5 in the first leg.
“I have told the players that they must follow a plan. We are excellent in the second session but must dominate in the first 45 minutes as well,” said the Spanish coach.
India defender Adil Khan is expected to replace the suspended Joyner Lourence in the centre of defence.
Meanwhile, at Kalyani, Pailan Arrows, who have emerged as the real giant killer of the tournament, will seek to reinvent their form taking on Kolkata giant Mohun Bagan in the 21st round on
The Arrows’ Australian coach, Arthur Papas, said his boys would play true to their reputation and give a good fight to their famed opponent.
Pune FC looking to open their final assault on a winning note will host Shillong Lajong FC at the Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, on
The hosts go into the game after registering their biggest-ever win while beating United Sikkim FC 6-1 in their final IFA Shield group match.
On the other hand, Pune FC will definitely be confident after they beat Lajong for the first time in the Round 13 fixture earlier in the season.
Playing Sunday: Dempo vs Sporting Clube; Pailan Arrows vs Mohun Bagan; Pune FC vs Shillong Lajong. [NT]