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I- League Round 5: Mohun Bagan to face Sporting GOa at home..

18.10.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

The Salgaocar Sports Club of Goa are leading the I league table after the fourth round. Today at the Balwari Sports Complex at Pune they overshoot Mumbai FC by a margin of 3-1 and register their third win in the league. The newly introduced Bangaluru FC are also standing at 10 points, but Salgaokar are enjoying the better goal (6 goal difference) advantage at the end of the forth round.

Salgaokar has recruited one of the experienced coach in Indian Football this year. It seem that Derrick Pareira has been successful to combine his team right from the initial stages. It can be said If they can continue this consistency then they would be one of the leading team in the 2013-14 I league.

ALL 9 HEAD TO HEAD OH MOHUN BAGAN HOME MATCH VS SPORTING GOA

2012/2013 Mohun Bagan   3-1   Sporting Goa
2011/2012 Mohun Bagan   1-1   Sporting Goa
2009/2010 Mohun Bagan   1-2   Sporting Goa
2008/2009 Mohun Bagan   1-0   Sporting Goa
2007/2008 Mohun Bagan   1-1   Sporting Goa
2006/2007 Mohun Bagan   1-2   Sporting Goa
2005/2006 Mohun Bagan   1-0   Sporting Goa
2004/2005 Mohun Bagan   1-0   Sporting Goa
2003/2004 Mohun Bagan   1-2   Sporting Goa

Mohan Bagan are in deep problem, as their Nigerian goal machine Odafa Okolie are still to recovery from the injury.During the practice session on Thursday morning Odafa has hurt in his cough mussel and are out of the match against Sporting Clube. Karim Bensharifa are having a torrid time as he will not get the services of Ichajonna due to his marching order in the last match against Pune FC. Undoubtedly this two foreigners are the most dependable footballers in the Bagan line up.

Bagan is looking desperately for their first win in the current edition of I-League as they are on two points from three outings with a negative goal difference. So, the forth match on Saturday afternoon at home will be a crucial one for Bagan.

In this context Karim Bencharifa is planning to change the formation against the Sporting Clube. The news which we have received is that Karim may opt for 4-5-1 formation with Adil Khan in the central midfield in front of the two stopper backs Kingshuk and Aibor. The Keynesian striker Erik will be the lone man in the upfront. The Japanese midfielder Katsumi will act as a pivot to operate in the free zone.

Sporting Clube are with three points from their four matches are keen to earn points from Kolkata. Though they have two foreign recruit in there deep defense, but they have conceded four goals so far. The Sporting midfield depends on Obba Kalu who is capable of transforming the results any time.

I- League Round 5: Shillong Lajong FC vs United Sports Club.

18.10.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

SLFC PRESS RELEASE : Shillong Lajong take on United Sports Club in the 5th round of the I-League at J.N. Stadium, Shillong on Saturday at 4:30 PM. Both sides are looking to get back on winning terms, Lajong after losing two home games in a row and United SC after a loss and a draw away from home.

During the pre-match press conference held here in Shillong, Eelco Schatorrie, United SC coach said that Lajong will be "unpredictable" as they are desperate for their first win at home. He also added, "The squad is not in perfect condition". They will also be without Tapan Maity and Lalkamal Bhowmick who are sidelined by injuries while Mohammad Rafique is out in office team duties. Schatorrie will not be in the dugout himself as he is serving a two match ban but he is "hoping" for three points.

Shillong Lajong coach, Thangboi Singto said," We are definitely looking for a win and our team will give 100% in the field." The coach also added that the team has been having problems in "converting the chances" but he is hoping that his side converts those chances in tomorrow's clash against the Kolkatta side. Lajong have less injury problems and will have the whole squad to chose from except for full back C.Lallawmzuala who is out with an ankle injury.

In closing statements, Eelco Schatorrie said that he is happy to be in Shillong and the "temperature is good". He also said that he looks to entertain the crowd with his team's football and hopes that the crowd will turn out in great numbers as they usually do. Rahul Dsouza, who sent him to the stands in the match against Begaluru FC will be the match official for tomorrow's game and Schatorrie hopes the official "keeps it professional".

United Sports Club is in 4th position in the table with 7points while Shillong Lajong is in 8th position with 4points. The league is still at its nascent stage but both teams will look for three more points to add to their kitty and put pressure on the league leaders

I-League Preview : Pune FC out with a mission against Churchill Bros.

18.10.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

PFC PRES RELEASE : Pune FC is keen to build upon their unbeaten run as they ready to square-off with Churchill Brothers SC in an I-League Round-5 at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, on Saturday. The clash between the guests - the defending champions and hosts - the runners-up, thus serves up a delight for both teams aiming to achieve their own missions.

Pune FC (7 points), to begin with, enjoys second place on the table after having their best start ever. In contrast, Churchill Brothers (2 points), positioned nine places lower, will seek a change in fortune on the morrow.

The visitors, so far, have been disappointing. Four games, one goal is not quite the credo they boast. In fact, the results have had its toll with Technical Director Sukhwinder Singh resigning earlier this week, a few months after joining. Instead, in comes Subhash Bhowmick, the experienced TD who led them to their second league title last season.

Pune FC Coach Mike Snoei says: "They are a team who is currently struggling, but definitely a team that plays for trophies. Moreover, when a team fires a coach there always is a new beginning with new energy." The Goans have made a host of changes to their squad with a number of players from the title-winning side moving out. Portuguese playmaker Hugo Machado, an ex-Sporting Lisbon youth product, will be the player dictating the tempo in attacking areas, while Indian medio Lenny Rodrigues pulls the strings from deeper.

New foreign arrivals-Nigerian Hammed Adesope and Syrian Al Kaddour - along with Gabonese striker Henri Antchouet and retained players defenders D. Ravanan, Denzil Franco, Raju Yumnam and winger Bineesh Balan will form the core of the team. They will be supported by fellow Indian signings winger Anthony Pereira, striker Balwant Singh and "keeper Arindam Bhattacharya. On the other hand, the hosts go into the crucial game on the back of a 2-0 home win over Mohun Bagan and are high on confidence.

Two wins and a draw in the opening three games means that Pune FC's unbeaten run now stretches to eight matches (7 wins and 1 draw) from last season. However, the fact that two defeats against the Goans last season cost the championship only adds up in Pune FC's build up to push further. We are ambitious and are busy in our plans to stay on top of the league, adds the Pune FC Coach.

However, with a mission set, Pune FC will start Saturday's game without striker Raul Fabiani. The tall striker has been ruled out due to injury, which he picked up in the last round against Mohun Bagan. Fabiani will thus miss his second match of the season and importantly will have Coach Mike Snoei employ changes in the roles of few players in the starting line-up. Among the options the Coach has for the striker position is, Thongkhosiem Haokip and Prakash Thorat.

"He (Fabiani) suffered a bad injury in the last match and is recovering and thus needs to sit out." Local boy Thorat, in fact, has not yet been fielded in the league and thus the line-up will perhaps be interesting. Medio Dhanapal Ganesh has returned to training, while playmaker Fanai Lalrempuia is back from national duty and available for selection.

Churchill Brothers, meanwhile, is reported to also have striker Henri Antchouet doubtful for the fixture after aggravating his injury in their draw against Rangdajied United in their previous game. Pune FC, meanwhile, play their opponents for the second time this season. Earlier, the two clashed in pre-season with Pune FC coming triumphs 2-1. However, the change in technical staff certainly points to a change in strategy and a fresh start for the Goans.

Another record Pune FC will want to set straight is the head-to-head record at home. The hosts have lost last three consecutive games against Churchill Bros. in the League with the last home victory logged back in 2009-10. In fact, all Pune FC losses have come with Pune FC failing to breach the rivals goal. Interestingly, Pune FC's last 3 matches have ended in defeats to the Goans under Bhowmick's stewardship.

All defeats have been costly: at the end of 2011-2012 season, back when Bhowmick was newly appointed, his counter-attacking strategy helped the visitors to a win which propelled them to a finish above Pune FC late on in the season. Then in the last season, the narrow home and away defeats to the eventual champions proved decisive in final analysis - as Pune FC finished only 3 points adrift and ended runner's up.

The clash between the two teams has seen the away side picking up wins more times (five times) compared to home sides (twice). In eight games so far Pune FC has secured three wins compared to the visitors' four. A win on Saturday will balance the head-to-head. Another incentive is that a Pune FC win with an appropriate scoreline would translate into a joint top position (with current leaders Bengaluru not playing this round) and depending on result between Salgaocar and Mumbai FC on Friday.