Round-9 Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 5/7
Exact Score-line : 4/7

Season’s Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 36/63
Exact Score-line : 17/63


VIVA KERALA
v
EAST BENGAL

Kannur 18/01/2011, 4:00 PM IST

The Kochi side welcomes the table toppers East Bengal in round ten at Kozhikode. Viva has luxated into the relegation zone after their second consecutive defeat. They were defeated by bottom of the table ONGC side in previous round, after conceding a late goal. The team has been left ruing missed chances in front of the goal, which has been the story so far for Kunhikrishnan’s side in spite of sizable ball possession in many matches. CS Sabeeth seems to be the only player who seems to break the deadlock for the Kerala side. It will be a very tough assignment for Kunhikrishnan as they welcome the Red-&-Gold brigade and would have to play out of their skins if they want to sprout any chances of squeezing some points off the three time champions.

East Bengal played out a stalemate at YBK, registering their second draw in last three matches. Trevor Morgan’s men upfront were guilty of missing clear headers, finding the goalkeeper Abhijit most of the times. East Bengal is still five points clear at the summit of the table as they travel south to face a desperate Viva side, also welcoming back the Australian Striker Tolgay in their lineup, who will make his comeback from a suspension. However, Mehtab Hussain, who was booked for a foul on Joshimar, is set to miss the match as this was his second booking and successive matches. This season East Bengal has struggled to find the back of the net when Mehtab was unavailable. Can Morgan secure a win against Viva without the most influential player on the pitch? Having said that the Red-&-Gold brigade has enough firepower in their armor and they will be hoping to notch up some goals against a weak and short on confidence Viva Kerala defensive line up.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS To WATCH OUT FOR

C.S. Sabeeth (Viva Kerala), Tolgay Ozbey (East Bengal)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

Viva Kerala 0-2 East Bengal

———————


ONGC
v
MOHUN BAGAN

Kohlapur, 18/01/2010 – 3:30 PM IST

ONGC moved out of the relegation zone with a racy performance at Kolhapur against Viva Kerala in round nine, after Opara gave the hosts a storming lead just before the final whistle. Subrata Bhattacharya’s (Jr) debutant side will be looking to build upon their first three points and put in another gritty performance as they welcome Subhas Bhowmick’s resurgent Mohun Bagan outfit. The Nigerian pair of ND Opara and Babatunde will be the men to mark for the Mariners defenders, as both the sides would like to capitalize on their impressive victories and move further up the table.

The Mariners ripped apart the Salgaocar defense in Round 9, scoring 3 goals inside 11 minutes at Margaon. Subhas Bhowmick’s side moved up to seventh in the table as they travel to Maharashtra. Tremendous counter attacking display by the Green-&-Maroon’s gave them all three points in last match and will be hoping to garner all three points this time too. Ishfaq has been in sizzling form, overlapping well and crosses mostly finding players. Chidi Edeh would be the man to watch out for as the Nigerian scored a brace in the last round.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

N.D Opara (ONGC FC), Chidi Edeh (Mohun Bagan)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

ONGC FC 1-3 Mohun Bagan

———————


CHIRAG UNITED
v
MUMBAI FC

Kolkata, 18/01/2010 – 1:45 PM IST

Chirag united registered their third draw in last four matches as they welcome a very good Mumbai FC side to YBK. Coach Sanjay Sen was left lamenting the penalty miss by the Brazilian Josimar which could have hoarded all three points for the Kolkata side. His side enjoyed good possession spells in both the halves, but without any fruitful display on the scoreboard. Slotted at fifth in the table, the Kolkata side would want to win this match and close on top three. The Durand cup champions would depend a lot on their playmaker Lalkamal Bhowmick, partnering Denson in mid field, they both would be eager to synch up with makeshift attacking duo of Branco-Rafiq, and notch up a victory. Chirag’s star striker Joshimar da Silva Martins is set to miss this match due to suspension.

Their opponents, Mumbai FC, are on equal points with the Kolkata team; just the goal difference slotting Khalid Jamil’s side below Chirag United, at sixth, despite winning more number of matches. Nigerian Ebi Sukore came to the side’s rescue as his late strike help Khalid Jamil’s side squeeze a point in Gurgaon, scoring his third for the season. His  side travel to YBK once again, but this time they would like to come back with some points, as last time they faced the Mariners there, they lost by two goals, scoring none . It will be a match to look out for, with fifth place on stake, we can expect both the teams to go for all three points. N.Rodriguez will be the man to watch out from Mumbai’s side, as he would be hoping to phase well with Ebi and cause problems for Chirag’s defense. Good news for Chirag is that their star striker Junior Obagbemero, who has been sidelined with an injury, is expected to make his return in this match.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Lalkamal Bhowmick (Chirag United), Ebi Sukore (Mumbai FC)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

Chirag Utd 1-0 Mumbai FC

———————

CHURCHILL BROTHERS
v
AIR INDIA

Margaon – 18/01/2011 – 3:45 PM IST

Vincent Subramaniam’s side maintained their third spot in the league as they went past a piteous HAL side quite easily at Fatorda, Margaon. New Zealander Vincent, Balan and impressive midfielder Zakeer all on target in the last round, Churchill will hopefully welcome back their start striker Odafa. The only concern for Vincent’s side in last round was that his players were not able to finish the moves with goals. Poor finishing has been their drawback, which burgeons more in absence of Odafa. However his side silenced all the critics by demonstrating attacking football in round nine. The Goan side would be looking to notch up their fifth win and keep the pressure up on Salgaocar and East Bengal.

The Airmen suffered their fourth league defeat at Ludhiana as they went down to two JCT goals in the second half. The situation for Yusuf Ansari’s side is very desolate as they travel to Goa to face the music of Odafa-Vincent combo. It will be no less than a shock, if the Mumbai side manages to come back with a point. Still looking for their first win, all the players need to put in a more than decent performances, especially from their defense line-up and Yusuf Ansari would be hoping for the same.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Kanye Vincent (Churchill Brothers), Arup Debnath (Air India)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

Churchill Brothers 4-0 Air India

———————

PUNE FC
v
HAL SC

Pune, 19/01/2010 – 3:30 PM IST

The Red Lizards from Pune are still lying at an insecure tenth in the league, after they gifted all three points to the defending champions, Dempo SC in thier round-9 clash. Pune FC took the lead in the 14th minute with K. Ajayan’s pin point pass was gathered by Keita Mandjou, and the Guinean clinically finishing the move.

Derrick Pereira would be repenting the fact that his team squandered the lead and would have liked the match to be sealed by another goal from his lads in the second half. As they welcome fellow struggles in HAL, the Red Lizards would be hoping to gather all three points at Balewadi Stadium. It would be surprising if Derrick Pereira again opts for counter attack strategy which his side almost implemented successfully against the Champions, as Pune FC would like to strike early and keep up the pressure to garner all three points.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited dropped away to eleventh, after they were clinically defeated by Churchill Brothers in Round 9, despite the Nepalese international centre back Rohit Chand, nullifying many Churchill moves. After losing four of their last five league matches, Thyagaraj’s side would be hoping that his team gets their act together as they travel to Maharashtra.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

K. Ajayan (Pune FC), Joseph Murali (HAL)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

Pune FC 1-1 HAL

———————

DEMPO
v
SALGOACAR

Margaon, 19/01/2010 – 3:45 PM IST

The big Goan derby kicks off at Fatorda Stadium, Margaon on Wednesday. More importantly this top of the table clash will be a virtual six pointer. Dempo SC snatched all three points in the last round with Ranti Martins on fire, scoring in the 80th minute and winning the spot kick four minutes later, against Pune FC. It is expected to be an open free flowing game with both sides going in for an early strike. If Dempo can gather all three points from this match, the victory would see them jumping over their fierce rivals, to second or third spot, depending on Churchill’s result.

Salgaocar are running at second place in the league, now five points off the leaders. In round-9 Karim Bencharifa’s side suffered its third loss in the league, second one at home. Karim Bencharifa would be concerned about Salgaocar’s poor  defensive showings, as his side enters the big derby. The Goan side has let in three goals each in last two matches and now they are up against the defending champions. A win for Salgaocar would catapult them five points ahead of Dempo. Skipper Sabrosa would like his high profile strikers to be up for this match and score some goals. Japanese midfielder Ryuiji Sueoka, who registered his eighth goal of his season, would be hoping to add to his tally.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Ranti Martins (Dempo SC), Ryuiji Sueoka (Salgaocar)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

Dempo 1-1 Salgaocar

———————

AIFF
v
JCT FC

Gurgaon, 19/01/2011 2:30 PM IST

At last the young brigade of Desmond Buplin is making their move up the table. Although they were robbed off a victory against Mumbai FC in last round, courtesy a last gasp strike by Ebi Sukore, the young guns are gelling well as a team and putting in their 100% on the pitch. Once again their midfield comprising of Shilton D’Silva and Jewel Raja would hold the key to their success as the talented duo will look to feed the strikers with some defense splitting through balls. AIFF ‘keeper Jagrup Singh has been brilliant under the bar in the absence of number 1 Gurpreet Singh. The defense line led by Raju Gaekwad and Deepak Devrani has been a source of inspiration for Des Bulpin’s boys.

Sukhwinder Singh brought JCT FC ‘s derailed campaign back on the right track. A 2-0 win against Air India in round-9 helped them to move up to the 8th spot. Keke Ibrahim has performed superbly for the Millmen at the head of the pack, while Omoloja Kareem has been like the Rock of Gibraltar at the back. Sukhi will be expected similar gritty performances from all the players to grind out a positive result in this crucial tie.

TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Malswamfela (AIFF), Ibrahim (JCT)

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

AIFF XI 1-1 JCT FC