Round-1 Prediction Statistics: 

Correct Predictions : 6/7
Exact Score-line : 3/7
 

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JCT FC
v
CHURCHILL BROTHERS
 

Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Gurgaon
Dec 7th, 2:30 PM IST
 

 

In the first of the 2nd round matches, JCT FC hosts Churchill Brothers at Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Gurgaon. The home team would look to bounce back from the surprise defeat against the newcomer HAL SC in their opening encounter. JCT midfielder Keke Ibrahim will have to play a key role and Daniel Bidemi led defense line-up will have to be on their toes to cut off any threat from Churchill hitman Odafa Okolie. Home support will be an added boost for the former national Champions. 

Churchill will look to draw inspiration from their fighting display against defending Champions Dempo in their first match of the campaign, where Odafa brilliantly staged a late come-back for the Goan side to snatch a point off their arch-rivals. Odafa will again be the main weapon for Churchill’s new coach Vincent Subramaniam. In the last seaon, JCT managed to hold Churchill for a 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture, while they were completely outclassed by the Goan outfit in the away match. Incidentally Churchill’s 6-0 win over JCT at Goa was the biggest margin of win in the last edition. 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For:
 

JCT FC : Keke Ibrahim
Churchill Brothers : Odafa Okolie 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction:
 

JCT 0-2 Churchill Brothers 

 

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SALGAOCAR

v
CHIRAG UNITED
 

Fatorda Stadium, Margaon
Dec 7th, 3:00 PM IST 

 

Both Salgaocar and Chirag managed to win their respective opening encounters. A win in this tie will ensure both the teams maximum possible points and the top of the table standing as well. 

Karim Bencharifa managed Salgaocar team thrashed a helpless Viva Kerala outfit 3-0 in their last match. Japanese midfielder Ryuji Sueoka scored a wonderful brace while Anthony Barbosa chipped in with another goal. Last Sunday, Salgaocar enhanced their squad strength further when they roped in East Bengal discard striker Ekene Ekenwa as their fourth foreigner. There is every possibility that veteran Yusif Yakubu can form a lethal attacking partnership with Ekene and this will be a cause of concern for the rival coaches. 

Chirag managed to outclass AIFF XI 2-1 in last round, thanks to the Junior Obagbemiro double strike. Brazilian striker Joshimar Martins provided both the assists. However Chirag’s defense is thier main strength. Skipper Arnab Mondal has been impressive from the start of the season and has hardly put a foot wrong. Denson Devadas, Lalkamal Bhowmick and Gouranga Biswas forms a very competent midfield line for Chirag. Technical Director Subrata Bhattacharya is confident that his boys will do well in this away tie and he will be happy to see them sharing one point from this crucial match. 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For:
 

Salgaocar : Yusif Yakubu
Chirag United : Joshimar Martins 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction:
 

Salgaocar 1-1 Chirag United 


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AIR INDIA
v
VIVA KERALA
 

Sahahu Stadium, Kohlapur
Dec 7th, 3:00 PM IST 

 

This will be a significant match for both the teams concerned and three points here can help them to stay afloat in end of the season relegation battle. Both the teams have lost their round-1 matches, Air India lost against their Mumbai counterparts Mumbai FC, Viva Kerala surrendered meekly against Salgaocar. 

Both the teams are almost equal in terms of squad strength, however, Air India will look to take avdantage of the home conditions at the Kohlapur ground. Dada Nabeel and Yusuf Ibrahim will have to shoulder the responsibility of scoring goals for the Airmen.  Good news for Viva before this game is that former Mohun Bagan midfielder Kalia Kulothungan will be available in this match and coach P.K.Kunhikrishnan will hope that the veteran midfielder combines well with the Nigerian striker Felix Chimaokwu. 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For:
 

Air India : Dada Nabeel
Viva Kerala : Kalia Kulothungan 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction:
 

Air India 1-1 Viva Kerala 

 

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MOHUN BAGAN
v
HAL SC
 

Yuvabharati Krirangal, Kolkata
Dec 8th, 2:00 PM IST 

 

Even after spending a lot of money in the transfer market in a bid to form a strong squad, Mohun Bagan’s lean patch refueses to end. After a disappointing Kolkata League campaign, the Green & Maroon supporters would have hoped for a better run in I-League, but Stanley Rozario’s men failed to notch up a win against Pune FC in their first match even after leading by a goal till the 80th minute. Defense is an area of concern for the Kolkata giants and the lack of a destroyer is hurting them badly to break up opposition’s midfield play. Their three pronged attack is the best in the country on paper, but till now Barreto-Chidi-Muritala combination failed to achieve the expected result. They will look to take advantage of HAL SC’s inexperience in top tier football and clinch all three points from this home game. 

HAL surprised one and all with a surprise debut win over JCT in round-1. With utmost determination and fighting spirit, they have already served a strong warning to the rival clubs that the minnows were not going to be mere pushovers for others to streamroll. Nepal international player Rohit Chand displayed some resolute defending to keep JCT at bay throughout the match and the coach will hope for similar performance against Bagan as well. Xavier Vijaykumar and Nigerian striker Abdulla Hamza will try their best to get another positive result from this Kolkata trip.

 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For:
 

Edeh Chidi – Mohun Bagan
Xavier Vijaykumar – Hal SC 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction:
 

Mohun Bagan 2-0 HAL SC 

 


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AIFF XI
v
ONGC FC
 

Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi
Dec 8th, 4:00 PM IST 

 

This will be a battle of superiority between the two I-League newcomers. Both these teams played their hearts out in round-1 matches but they are yet to open their points’ account in the league. While AIFF XI lost their opening match against Chirag United by 2-1 margin, ONGC did admirably well to hold title contender East Bengal until 82nd minute, but a late Tolgay Ozbey goal dashed their hopes of beginning the campaign with a point. 

For AIFF XI, Lalrindike Ralte scored a brilliant individual goal against Chirag and they looked lively while attacking. Jeje Lalpekhlua and Jagtar Singh deserve special mention here. The AIFF XI also have promising youngsters like Raju Gaekwad, Tirthankar Sarkar and Jewel Raja Shaikh who have represented India in under-19 and under-21 categories. 

ONGC’s young defender Gour Naskar and Robin Gurung have impressed the football pundits with their gritty showing against a very strong East Bengal attack. Their attacking department also looks strong with the presence of talented Babtunde and N.D. Opara. It is going to be an exciting encounter at the Ambedkar and the Delhites can hope to witness quite a few goals in this match. 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

AIFF XI : Larindike Ralte
HAL SC : N.D. Opara 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

AIFF XI 2-2 HAL SC 

 

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DEMPO SC
v
EAST BENGAL
 

Fatorda Stadium, Margaon
Dec 8th, 4:00 PM IST 

 

This is undoubtedly the biggest match of second round as two title contenders, Dempo SC and Kingfisher East Bengal faces each other. Dempo drew their first round match against arch-rivals Churchill Brothers, while East Bengal managed to beat ONGC – thanks to a late second half goal by Tolgay Ozbey. 

Dempo will be having a slight advantage going into this match as the host team. Moreover their recent triumph over the Red & Gold brigade in the Super Cup will act as a moral booster for Armando Colaco’s men. However, the rift between star player Roberto Silva and the coach could not have come out at a worst time for Dempo. The game-maker, whom many consider as the piller stone for Dempo’s recent success, has already asked for a release from the club and this is certainly going to affect the dressing room environment. 

For Federation Cup Champion East Bengal, this is an excellent opportunity to take revenge of their Super Cup defeat. The Kolkata giants missed the services of seven first team players due to injury in that loss against Dempo. But this time, coach Trevor Morgan travelled to Goa with almost a full strength squad – the exceptions being the first choice wingers Vasum and Harmanjot Khabra. 

Mehtab Hussain, the “Double Cylinder”, as he is fondly referred by his team-mates will once again be the key to East Bengal’s game.  If his partnership with Nigerian attacking midfielder Penn Orji gets going, it will be a difficult task for the Dempo defense to contain the East Bengal juggernaut. Tolgay Ozbey and Robin Singh will be raring to go and prove that the Super Cup was just an off day at office for the Red & Gold brigade. Uga Okpara will have the responsibility to keep a check on Dempo’s dangerous striker Ranty Martins. In the last I-League campaign, this fixture at Goa ended in a goal-less stalemate. 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For:
 

East Bengal : Penn Orji
Dempo : Ranty Martins 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction:
 

Dempo SC 1-2 East Bengal 

 

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MUMBAI FC
v
PUNE FC
 

Shahanu Stadium, Kohlapur
Dec 8th, 3:30 PM IST 

 

Mumbai FC started off their campaign with a win over Air India in their first round match, while Pune FC managed to hold Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw. In the last season’s league, Pune FC got the better of the Mumbai team in the first leg, while the second leg game ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Pune FC boasts of a stronger squad in terms of quality and Mumbai FC will be happy to snatch a point from this tie. Mumbai FC is one of the worst hit teams during the transfer season and their newly recruited players are finding it difficult to fill the void left by players like Malswamkima, Noel Wilson and Amit Singha Roy. In the absence of Abhishek Yadav, who is busy with the national camp, Henry Ezeh will be the key man for the Mumbai outfit. 

Pune FC, under the guidance of experienced coach Derek Pereira, surprised everyone with a top-3 finish in their maiden I-League appearence last season. This year as well, they are the dark horse in the league. Izumi Arata, the Japanese midfielder who scored the equalizer against Bagan, will again be their key man in the midfield. Brazilian Edmar and Mondjou Keita forms an exciting attacking partnership and it will be surprising if they could not open the goal mouth against a weak Mumbai FC defense. Senegal defender Lamine Tamba will marshal Pune’s defense while local lad Paresh Shivalkar and veteran Sanmugam Venkatesh will cater to the supply line. 


TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For:
 

Pune FC : Edmar Figuera
Mumbai FC: Henry Ezeh 


TheHardTackle’s Prediction:
 

Mumbai FC 0-2 Pune FC

5 Responses to “I-League 2010/11 : Preview And Predictions – Round-2”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Satinder Pal Singh says:

    Finally a point for JCT. :)

  2. Prashant Mehta says:

    Nobody expected HAL to beat MB or Mumbai FC to beat Pune FC. Even JCT draw with Churchill is a surprise to me. I know it’s a tough job predicting the results. This time 3 out of 7 predictions correct. Not bad :)