Round-5 Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 4/7
Exact Score-line : 3/7

Season’s Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 23/35
Exact Score-line : 10/35

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EAST BENGAL
v
AIR INDIA

Kolkata, 29/12/2010 – 1:45 PM IST

*****

The Red and Gold brigade of Kolkata couldn’t have asked for a better comeback after the shock loss in Durand cup earlier this year. The Fed Cup holders sit at the top of the I-league, unchallenged, with a flawless record to boast in the season. In the last round, the Aussie sensation Tolgay Ozbey clinched the victory for the Bengal giants in a crucial top of the table clash against Salgaocar at YBK.

With the whole East Bengal squad rising up to the occasion, still winless Air India will spring a huge surprise if they get anything out of this fixture. East Bengal on the other hand would love to enter the new year as table toppers. Tolgay-Robin has been brilliant so far with Mehtab Hussain pulling the strings of attack from midfield. Uga Okpara has been like a rock at the back for the Kolkata giants. A bright news from East Bengal’s perspective on the injury front is the return of winger Reisangmei Vasum – the reliable winger was on the sidelines after the Federation Cup triumph. Vasum is expected to be used as a second half substitute to assess his current match fitness level.

Keeping the trend of the way Airmen are playing their cards this season, it won’t be surprising if they sit back and soak up all the pressure. Air India is coming fresh from the 2-1 defeat to lowly lying AIFF XI, where Samson Singh scored a consolation goal for the Mumbai side, handing the debutant AIFF side their first win of the season. So far the team hasn’t got its act going. They have been heavily tipped to be relegated this season.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

Robin Singh (East Bengal), Manjit Singh (Air India)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

East Bengal 3-0 air india

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JCT FC
v
VIVA KERALA

Ludhiana, 29/12/2010 – 2:00 PM IST

*****

The side form Ludhiana  would  be looking to revive their campaign after a barren season so far. The inaugural Champions would be looking to register their first win of the season at home. Tottering at the rock bottom of the table, after going down to Manish Mathani’s 67th minute strike in last round , they welcome the fellow strugglers from the southern part of the country. The Millmen have already lost 4 home fixtures scoring only once in the season so far. Sukhwinder singh needs to alter  the strategy with some major changes and bring out the best form the nervous looking bunch of players on the pitch or else matters could turn from bad to worse, if JCT fail to  collect any  points from this fixture against a struggling Viva Kerala outfit. With the unrelenting winter already taking its toll on the pitch , it’s time that JCT take advantage of these conditions to hoard and garner their first three points of the season.

Viva Kerala  too have had a dim season so far – winless after 5 rounds. This match couldn’t have come at a better time for the Kochi side as they travel up north to face an inexperienced JCT side. With odafe okolie’s injury time penalty robbing them off three precious away points, it’s time that viva Kerala pull up their socks and start performing. With Sabeeth accounting for  half of the goals scored by the side so far, he would be a threat for the Millmen in Ludhiana. Felix Chimaokwu scored his first goal of the campaign against Churchill and Viva fans will hope that the Nigerian  gets in sync with sabeeth quickly.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

Balwant Singh(JCT), CS Sabeeth (Viva Kerala)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

JCT 1-0 viva kerala

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SALGAOCAR
v
PUNE FC

Margaon, 29/12/2010 – 3:45 PM IST

*****

Salgaocar’s  perfect start to the season was halted by East Bengal in the previous round where they went down by a solitary goal, handing Karim Bencharifa’s  side their first defeat of the season. The Japanese recruit Sueoka gelling well with the veteran Ghanaian Yakubu has been the main reason for the team sitting pretty at the second position in the league table.  The Goan club possess a  well balanced squad with accurate mixture of players from various age groups and foreigners, is set to entertain Pune FC team after enjoying their best start to the Indian football season ever.

Pune FC have been disappointing in this season as they still wait to grab their first elusive win. They staged a good  come-back against the ONGC side, who led them at the break. As it almost looked certain that the pune side would return home empty handed, Keita restored parity in the dying moments of the match just like the match against Viva Kerala. The midfield led by Venkatesh and Ajayan has failed to fulfill the expectations and young ‘keeper Balaji hasn’t been able to fill in the huge void left by India Number one  Subrata pal. Izumi Arata is the only silver lining for the club which is having a gloomy season so far, scoring half of the team’s goals.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

Ryuiji Sueoka (Salgaocar), Izumi Arata (Pune FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Salgaocar 2-1 pune FC

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AIFF XI
v
HAL SC

Gurgaon, 30/12/2010 – 2:00 PM IST

 *****

The under-21 debutants tasted the sweet taste of the victory for the first time when they beat the hapless Air India in the previous round – thanks to goals coming from Shilton D’silva and Jagtar Singh. Much talked about Desmond Bulpin’s side, never short of fighting spirit, won the match comprehensively putting a robust performance. Coach Bulpin would hope that his side, initially tagged as “under-prepared”, start knitting some results together, gaining some confidence from round five’s performance. With young guns like Jagtar Singh, Raju Gaikwad, Jewel Raja, Jagrup Singh and Lalpekhlua donning the AIFF jersey, a string of good performances might land a surprise call for India NT.  Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has already got the call to join the Asian Cup squad  as the 3rd choice custodian.

Bangalore based institutional team HAL SC has been the surprise package of the season so far. The Bangalore boys have won its opening two away games shocking both JCT and Mohun Bagan. AFC A License holding coach R Thyagaraj’s side have been showcasing some strategically sound football. This match would surprisingly be their sixth away match on the trot, as their home turf in Bangalore is going through complete renovation. This could turn out to be blessing in disguise for HAL come end of the season. HAL suffered their second defeat in the campaign, bowing down to Chirag United by a lone goal in their 5th round match. Currently ther are slotted in the top half of the table, which is a remarkable achievement considering the fact that they are a new inclusion to this top tier set-up.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

Shilton D’silva (AIFF XI), R.C. Prakash (HAL)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

AIFF XI 1 – 1 HAL

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ONGC SC
v
CHURCHILL BROTHERS

Kohlapur, 30/12/2010 – 3:30 PM IST

*****

ONGC are yet to win their first match of the season as they entertain the Goan heavyweights, Churchill brothers,  in the sixth round match. The debutant side would have lamented the way they dropped two points in the  Maharashtra derby played out in the previous round – Pune FC snatched a point by equalizing in the 88th minute. ONGC hasn’t had a dream start to their season and have been tipped to be relegated by many pundits. Another big blow came their way last week when coach Sujit Chakraborty resigned at ONGC to sign in the lucrative deal with Mohun Bagan.

Scoring only 2 goals so far, the Mumbai based side needs to make the attacking combo of ND Opara and Babatunde to gel well if they wish to come out of the relegation zone. The year has been a special one for the side from Mumbai, as they made their debut in the Indian premier division football league and they would love to end it with a sound performance at home.

Churchill brothers , on the other hand, clawed their way back in Margaon, and bagged a point against a  resurgent Viva Kerala side. The Nigerian hitman Odafa Okolie sits on top the scoring chart with 9 goals to his name already. ONGC’s defense would face an uphill battle to stop the Nigerian juggernaut. Only Bineesh Balan has scored a goal for Churchill so far  in the campaign except the lanky striker, which  verifies his brilliance on the pitch against Indian defenders.

The only point to ponder for Vincent Subramaniam  is the lacklustre performance by the back four, as they have been conceding needless goals so far. They would like to bounce back to winning ways against a newly promoted ONGC outfit. The match probably means more goals for Odafa.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

N.D. opara (ONGC ), Odafa Okolie (Churchill)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

ONGC FC  0 – 2 Churchill

 

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DEMPO SC
v
CHIRAG UNITED

Margaon, 30/12/2010 – 3:45 PM IST

*****

The holders finally are trying to get their season on track after a shocking start to the season with two draws, including a home defeat against table toppers East Bengal. Dempo is one side in the league which is feeling the maximum heat because of the national camp.

With many of the sure shot starters missing , the dependency on Beto is exposed. Teams now try to counter Beto’s playmaking skills by double marking him. With three good solid results behind them, including the recent 1-0 victory over the high flying Mumbai FC, the defending champions are slowly but surely getting their act together.

They will be up against a good Chirag United side, led by master tactician Subrata Bhattacharya. It could turn out to be an interesting fixture in this round, with both the teams tied on points and battling for a place in top three as the new year rolls on.

Chirag united are placed at arespectable fifth position in the table. With two wins, 2 draws and a high scoring loss to Salgaocar, Durand Cup Champions would like to be among the top-3 teams going into 2011 . Midfielder Jerry Zirsanga slotted the lone goal at the stroke of half time to sink the hopes of a good HAL side. The Bengal side looked good against them with Lalkamal Bhoumick putting in a fighting performance. Haling form Nigeria, Elija Junior could prove to be a thorn in flesh for the Dempo defense, as he has  already  netted four times this season. Brazillain  Josimar hasn’t impressed much, guilty of wasting  too many goal scoring opportunities, but he is a proven quality in I-League.

A victory for any of the sides would really boost their moral and help them challenge the Red and Gold brigade for the title glory in the new year.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

Beto (Dempo), LalKamal Bhowmick (Chirag)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Dempo  1 – 0 Chirag

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MOHUN BAGAN
vs
MUMBAI FC

Kolkata, 30/12/2010 – 1:45 PM IST

*****

The Green & Maroon brigade from Kolkata registered their first win of the campaign at the Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, defeating home team JCT FC – courtesy, a second half strike by Dehradun wonder boy Manish Mathani. Since Subhash Bhowmick joined the club to take charge for the second time, things are looking bright for the Kolkata giants after the initial blip. After a good show against defending champions Dempo in round 4, Mohun Bagan won their first match with a spirited performance against JCT.

Mohun Bagan would love to keep the winning momentum and win their last home match in 2010. Barreto playing just behindMuritala as a withdrawn forward, worked wonders against JCT and Subhash would be hoping that the midfield duo of Jayanta  and Manish keep up the form they hit during the last two matches.

Mumbai FC would be looking to come back after back to back defeats. They started the league in a blazing fashion, winning their first three matches and conceding only once. It would be too early to call this as a slump for the Mumbai side as they were thumped by Churchill Brothers in round 4 before losing against Dempo in last round. Arup Debnath, Peter Siddique and Edathodika would have  to get their acts together against Muritala and Barreto at YBK to have any chance of snatching some points in Kolkata.

TheHardTackle’s Players to watch out for

Jose Barreto (MMB ),  Peter Siddique  (Mumbai FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

MMB  1 – 1 Mumbai FC

~ Kunwar Deep Singh

5 Responses to “I-League 2010/11 : Preview And Predictions – Round 6”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Sourav says:

    Good score predictions and lovely logics injected behind it. On the whole good job kunwar :-)

  2. Shami says:

    one correction – Dempo lost only to East Bengal in I-League this season.. They have drawn against Mohun Bagan and Churchil Brothers

  3. @Shami, you are right. Thanks for pointing it out. Correction made.