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I-League Preview : Bengaluru FC look stay on top.

09.10.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

MFC PRESS RELEASE : BFC PRESS RELEASE : Bangalore: Bengaluru FC will look to protect their place at the top of the I-League table when the Blues host Kolkata club Mohammedan Sporting in a Round Four game at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bangalore, on Thursday.

Enjoying a three-game unbeaten run, Ashley Westwood's team will look to make it four at a stadium that is slowly turning into a fortress for Bengaluru FC. Having conceded just the lone goal in three games, the hosts have looked compact at the back and the Mohammedan Sporting attack will have to earn any chance at goal.

Durand Cup winners, Mohammedan haven't had the best of starts to the league, losing both games played and a partially fit Penn Orji doesn't help their cause. Bengaluru FC, meanwhile, have a complete squad at their disposal. But Westwood wants his team to tread with caution. "Clubs that you or the fans expect us to beat, we aren't taking lightly. Those are the most dangerous games. They haven't had the best start to the league but they have their reasons for it," said Westwood.

Even midfielder Darren Caldeira admitted that Mohammedan had some quality players on their team but Bengaluru FC would stick to the tactics drawn out by the gaffer. "We're taking each game as it comes. They have some good players in Penn and Tolgey but we're going to play to a plan,Ē he said.

Mohammedan coach Bola Masood lamented the injuries that have plagued his squad going into the I-League. "We've been struggling with injuries. Even Penn isn't a 100% fit but we will be starting with him tomorrow," said Masood. "We come to every game wishing for three points. If we walk away with even one against Bengaluru, I'll take it happily."

Bengaluru have looked dangerous with set pieces and though Mohammedan are wary of the fact, Masood feels it's a situation his team have dealt with well in the Durand Cup. "We've done well against teams who specialize in dead ball situations and Thursday should be no different.". The game kicks off at 4 pm.

I-League Preview :: Pune FC has a point to prove against Mohun Bagan .

09.10.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

PFC PRESS RELEASE : Last year's runners-up Pune FC face a load of expectations against Mohun Bagan AC when they set foot for their first home game in the I-League 2013-14, on Thursday. Unbeaten in two rounds, Pune FC also brace up to the fact that the first show at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi in all four seasons yielded points.

Having begun their campaign away in this edition, Thursday's encounter is biggest for home fans who last remember a win and was party to Pune FC's best ever finish in the league. Under lights on the morrow, Mike Snoeiís Pune FC, will thus, hope to take off from where they left off. Pune FC Coach, Mike Snoei said: "I am looking forward to the game. All my players and especially the foreigners are looking forward to the big games." I hope we can get more people into the stadium, because on paper it is a fantastic game."

Pune FC (4 points) currently occupies 5th position in the league, while their winless Kolkata counterparts (2 points) are in the bottom half of the league in eighth spot making the clash utmost important. Both teams go into the match after an extended break. Pune FCís Round-3 clash against East Bengal was cancelled, while Mohun Bagan did not have a match scheduled. Interestingly, this the second time Pune FC opens their home campaign against Mohun Bagan with the last being back in 2010-11.

Both teams in fact share a common stat; that being carrying forward an unbeaten streak that stretching from last season. Pune FC is unbeaten in seven games (including two games this season), while Bagan are unbeaten in five. Incidentally, Baganís last I-League defeat came at the hands of Pune FC in Kalyani back in April.

Bagan, who are on their third consecutive away trip, are still without a win in the league after draws against Bengaluru FC and Churchill Brothers in the opening two rounds. However, the team have been kept busy competitively, having won two Kolkata league matches in this period.

The visitors have revamped their squad ahead of this campaign and have brought in a number of players. Keeper Sandip Nandy, defenders Kingshuk Debnath and Wahid Sali, midfielders MP Sakeer and Japanese Katsumi Yusa along with Kenyan striker Eric Muranda are new arrivals. The Karim Bencherifa led side have retained few players from last season - playmaker Denson Devadas, defenders Aiborlang Khongjee, Nigerian Celestine Eche and forward CS Sabeeth continue at Bagan. However, the visitors will be missing services of talismanic striker Odafa Okolie along with midfielders Manish Bhargav and Adil Khan.

Pune FC Coach adds: "We are looking forward to play against better players; to compare our level with theirs, I am very curious.". The home side will be back to their best as they welcome back striker Raul Fabiani. The 6'6" Equato-Guinean missed the previous game owing to a one-match suspension following his double-booking against Mohammedan Sporting in opener.

Medio Dhanapal Ganesh will be the only player unavailable due to injury while playmaker Lalrempuia Fanai is away on National Duty. The rest of the squad is fit and available for selection. The home side in fact, go into the game effecting one change in the 18 that played the last round against Shillong Lajong FC. The change being Fabiani replacing experienced midfielder Shanmugam Venkatesh in the 18-man squad.

Over the years, the head-to-head record marginally tilts in the visitors favour. Bagan has four wins compared to two for Pune FC; both teams have played out four draws in ten games in all competitions. However, in Pune, the record is tied at one win each and a couple of draws. In Baganís travelling squad, Sabeeth is the only one who has breached the Pune FC defense. For the hosts midfielders Douhou Pierre and Arata Izumi have both scored against Bagan in the past. An interesting fact is that this fixture in Pune has always seen goals scored by both sides on each occasion.

I-League Preview : Rangdajied United High On Confidence Ahead Of Churchill Brothers Encounter.

09.10.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

RUFC PRESS RELEASE : Last week, Rangdajied United and Dempo SC treated Shillong's football fans to a footballing classic at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. With the blues making their home I-League bow on a Friday afternoon, Santosh Kashyap's men staged a brilliant fightback to deny former champions Dempo SC their first league win of the season. T Lalnunpuia and Sandesh Gadkari scored for the hosts, as they crawled back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a respectable 2-2 draw.

This Thursday, Churchill come to town to take on Santosh Kashyap's men, with the defending champions level on points with Rangdajied, and still winless in the league. Rangdajied United will be running high on confidence after securing their first I-League point against Dempo, that too in the most dramatic of fashion. With the I-League holders not in the best of form, the hosts will be looking to sprinkle more salt to Churchillís wounds on Thursday.

At the back, Surjay Pariyar should start under the bar; while Thomas Saikhom, Lamine Tamba, Munmun Lugun and Poibiang Pohshna could be Kashyap's preferred backline. It was Thomas Saikhom who had brought down Dempo's Billy Mehmet inside the penalty box in the first half, which had led to the visitor's first goal. However, the full-back redeemed himself in the later stages of the game by playing a vital part in Rangdajied's equalizer.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh and T Lalnunpuia played crucial roles in Rangdajied's comeback draw against Dempo. Both of them will be vital parts of Santosh Kashyap's offensive gameplan against the I-League champions. Lalnunpuia, in particular, was impressive against the Goan club, and will once again have to be at the top of his game, if Rangdajied are to inflict any pain on the visitors.

Youngster Joy Mrong Kharraswai, new signing David Nghaite and Restomwell Khriam started behind Nagen Tamang in the game against Dempo, but with Sandesh Gadkari scoring the important equalizer against the visitors after coming on as a substitute, either Tamang or Kharraswai may have to make way for the newly-signed forward. Edmar Figueira, who missed out against Dempo with an injury, is a doubtful starter.

Despite poor start, Churchill Brothers boast of very good squad, and they will look to turn things around from here. With a full-capacity crowd expected for the game, Santosh Kashyap's men, however, will hope to make full use of the fans' support and earn the full three points against the Goans.