Salgaocar FC will be looking to start the I League with a win over Pune FC in the first match of the season. Salgaocar FC have been in fantastic form having won not only the Goa Pro League but also having won the Durand Cup.
Salgaocar lost out in the semi-finals of the Federation cup but will be looking to continue their good run against Pune FC; they have beaten the team from Pune in both the Durand Cup and Federation Cup. Pune will be looking to just play a good game and come out with a result as the take on one of the contenders for the top places in the league.
Salgaocar finished 3rd in the 2013-14 season and will be looking to ensure they continue their march and finish even higher this season.
Unfortunately for the Goa based team, they will still be missing the services of Dawson Fernandes and Darryl Duffy as they are still recovering from slight knocks. Salgaocar would be looking to give a chance to a few fringe players though as they deal with the issue of injuries, though they did play some amazing football and will be dependent on Douhou Pierre and Gurjinder Kumar. Pierre has especially been in brilliant form and will be looking to create a few chances for his team mates.
Pune FC don’t really have a lot of injury concerns, they should have a full team to face the Goan club and will be looking to Sueoka to provide some inspiration for the team and hopefully be able to rain on Salgaocar’s parade at the Nehru Stadium.
Derrick Pereira vs. Karim Bencharifa
Two of the most experienced coaches in the Indian sub-continent. Pereira and Bencharifa have a ton of experience and are wily characters who would love to get the best out of each other. They are both tactical masterminds and this would be an intriguing battle.
The Salgaocar defence vs. Ryuji Sueoka
The Salgaocar defence will have their work cut out trying to keep the 35 year old Japanese under wraps. Sueoka is everything that is good about the Pune team and cutting him off will make the job much easier for Salgaocar.
Douhou Pierre vs. The Pune defence
The player who would need to step up because of the injury to Duffy. Pierre has been at the centre of all that is good for Salgaocar. Pierre would be needed to be marked really well to ensure that he doesn’t take the game away from Pune.
Salgaocar have won the last 2 matches against Pune this season.
The last 3 games between the teams have seen both sides score at least goal.
Pune had won the first ever meeting between the clubs 2-0.
Pune has won only 1 game out of their last 5 games.
Salgaocar has won 3 and lost 2 in its last 5 games.
Pereira, Salgaocar coach: “Pune FC is a good side and tomorrow’s match will be fought evenly. We had a tough time in beating them on both the occasion we have played against them in the past in the Durand Cup and the Federation Cup. It’s going to be a close game and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we will get a positive result in front of the home crowd,”
Bencharifa, Pune FC coach: “We have been very consistent. In terms of performance, we have been unlucky not to get the results in our favour on a few occasions. However, we have always played good football and even dominated the game which we have lost with regards to more shots on goals, more possession and so on; we are not in the best condition going into the game. We have quite a few key players who will be missing the game. Prakash Thorat, Anas Edathodika and Lalrinpuia are injured. We have Ryuji Sueoka and Luciano Sobrosa available.”
Possible starting XI:
Salgaocar predicted XI: Singh, Kasonde, Fernandes, Kumar, Oliveira, D Fernandes, Pierre, Colaco, Lamare, Jairu, A Oliveira
Pune FC predicted XI: Singh, Sabrosa, Gonsalves, Raju, Ralte, Sueoka, Rocha, Ganesh, Kadam, Thorat, Haokip
The game is all for Salgaocar to win, they are the team who is in form, at least in the head to head games between the clubs. The Goan team should win the game by at least a couple of goals.
Quotes courtesy: Goal.com & Times of India
Picture courtesy: IB Times & IBN
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