I-League 2010/11: Preview And Predictions – Round 14

Round-13 Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 4/7
Exact Score-line : 2/7

Season’s Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 53/91
Exact Score-line : 24/91

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Indian Arrows
v
Chirag United

Dau Devi Lal Stadium, Gurgaon
11th Feb 2010, 2:30 PM IST

Desmond Bulpin’s young arrows went down to Pune FC in the last round at Balewadi as the Pune side slotted three past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The under 21’s slipped to eleventh in the league, as they welcome the Durand cup champions Chirag United to Gurgaon. AIFF young brigade have scored only twice in their last five games, which is the main problem for Desmond Buplin. Indian Arrows should avoid putting in a vapid performance, as they could be sucked into the relegation zone, which is hotting up now.

Chirag United travel to Gurgaon, placed at seventh in the league. Chirag United went down to a rampant Churchill brothers at home in the last round, in an open scoring match. Chirag fought back well with all the influential players donning the scoring boots. The problem for the Kolkata side lies at the back with defenders leaking too many goals. The Durand cup champions have netted 8 times in their last 3 matches with Denson-Lalkamal midfield doing wonders. They would love to come back with all three points from this fixture and throw themselves into the mix in the top half of the table.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Indian Arrows)
Junior Elijah (Chirag United) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Indian Arrows 1 – 3 Chirag United

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ONGC FC
v
East Bengal

Sahu Maharaja Ground, Kohlapur
12th Feb, 2011 – 3:30 PM IST

The institutional side mentored by the veteran Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr) suffered their fourth defeat on the trot as they went down to a solitary strike form Narender, as HAL piled on the misery for the Maharashtra side in Round 13. ONGC welcome the table toppers East Bengal at Kolhapur in this round. East Bengal visit Kolhapur sans many of their players banned due to the ill-tampered Kolkata derby played in round-13, including their coach and regular centre backs, which would surely interest the Nigerian duo of Babatunde and Opara, who would like to capitalize on it. It would be something close to a miracle if the institutional side manages to harp any points from this fixture as the Red-&-Gold army look to garner three points after two consecutive draws in the league.

Trevor Morgan’s side would be looking to maintain their lead, as both the Goan clubs, Salgaocar and Churchill Brothers are hot on their heels. East Bengal would be missing the Centre back duo of Gurwinder Singh and Okpara, Sushanth and their inspirational captain Soumik Dey for this game in an aftermath of the Kolkata Derby in last round where the former Champions had to share the spoils with their fierce rivals Mohun Bagan. Trevor Morgan serves a touchline ban as he would not be allowed to sit with the team in the dugout. Trevor Morgan would want his strikers to convert more chances as his side has been guilty of missing open chances from past few rounds now. Robin Singh would be back in the squad after serving his ban, and would be our man to watch out for. In Okpara’s absence, we may get to see the new Brazilian striker Alexander in the starting line-up if East Bengal think-tank opts to go with a 4-4-3 formation.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

ND Opara (ONGC)
Robin Singh (East Bengal) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

ONGC FC 1 – 3 East Bengal

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Dempo SC
v
Churchill Brothers

PJN Stadium, Margaon
12th Feb, 2010 – 3:45 PM IST

Just after the high-profile Kolkata derby in round-13, it’s time for another high-profile derby. The big Goan derby has crucial three points at stake as Dempo SC welcomes Churchill Brothers at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday. Dempo have climbed up to fourth in the table with their sixth win of the season against struggling Viva side at Kannur in the last round. Influential duo of Beto-Ranty came to the party, as they put the tie out of the reach of the Kerala boys scoring twice after the lemon break. Coach Armando Colaco would like his players to continue from where they left at Kannur and put in a gritty performance as the Goan Whites look to notch up their third successive victory against a formidable Churchill Side. On the other hand, Armando Colaco would also like a injury free match against their arch rivals as Dempo play in a AFC champions league qualifying match next weekend.

Churchill too maintained their third spot in the league after an breathtaking encounter at Salt lake stadium in the last round which saw Goans hitting the back of the net as many as five times. Kayne Vincent netted his eighth of the season, as his brace and Steven Dais’s spunky performance led to a comfortable victory at the end for the Goan side. Brazilian Amauri has been a revelation in the midfield since he was signed from Charleston Battery in the winter. The midfield of Binish-Steven-Amauri with Kayne and Rafi upfront looks quite a deadly combo already, along with Gourmangi and Rowlinson forming the back spine.  With Odafa to return to the side, Churchill definitely have made it clear that the former champions wouldn’t make it easy for East Bengal and would chase the title till the penultimate rounds.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Beto (Dempo SC)
Gourmangi Singh (Churchill Brothers) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Dempo 1 – 2 Churchill Brothers

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Mohun Bagan
v
Pune FC

Yuvabharati Krirangan, Kolkata
12th Feb, 2010 – 1:45 PM IST

The Mariners managed to garner a point out of the Big Kolkata derby in a hot headed encounter. Old horse Barreto came to the green-&-Maroon rescue as he headed in the equalizer in the first half after Mohun Bagan were trailing by one goal. Subhas Bhowmick’s men are slotted at sixth in the league with only five victories in the season. As I-league trolls into some crucial rounds, all three points must be the top priority for Mohun Bagan as they welcome the Red Lizards from Pune. The Mariners would miss their influential player Asim Biswas for this tie as he serves his red card ban from the derby. Chidi Edeh and Barreto would like to be on the scoring sheet, as they look to launch themselves up the table, as a victory here would catapult the greens and maroons to the fifth position. Striker Muritala Ali is set to sit out in this encounter.

Derrick Pereira’s side makes a long trip to Kolkata to face the Mohun Bagan challenge. The pune side find themselves at eighth now after their second win in a row, more importantly without conceding a goal. There is no attesting required for what impact the addition of Subrata Pal has done to the morale of the side. They look stronger in defense, midfield building up nicely and strikers, Keita and Edmar striking well. It would be an entertaining encounter as Pune side looks in form but Mohun Bagan will have a collosal YBK crowd behind them, with important three points at stake.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Chidi Edeh (Mohun Bagan)
Edmar (Pune FC) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Mohun Bagan 1 – 1 Pune Fc

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HAL SC
v
JCT FC

Sree Kantheerva Stadium, Bangalore
12th Feb, 2011 – 3:30 PM IST

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, better known as HAL, climbed to ninth in the table after a last gasp goal by Narender managed to garner all three points for the Bangalore side. The institutional side welcome JCT FC to Sree Kantheerva Stadium, Bangalore. Thyagraj’s lads would be looking to notch up their second home victory after their back to back loses at home. HAL played most of their away matches at the start of the season, and this could turn to be very crucial as the Bangalore side look to hoard some valuable points at home to avoid the drop.

The Millmen are currently placed at tenth in the league after they managed to come away with a well deserved point in Kolhapur. The never say die attitude of Sukhi’s men helped them upset the rampaging Mumbai FC side with a hard-fought draw. Amandeep singh came to JCT’s rescue as he calmly slotted in the equalizer in the 84th minute to stun the crowd. It was a nice comeback by the Ludhiana side after they were humiliated in the previous round in Balewadi. Sukhi’s lads need to pick up from this impressive performance and showcase the same as they make a long journey to the southern city of Bangalore.

With three points up for grabs and both the teams looking to avoid the drop zone, a victory for either side would do world of good for them and place their respective side in the mid table.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Rohit Chand (HAL FC)
Baldeep Singh (JCT FC) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

HAL 1 – 2 JCT FC

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Salgaocar SC
v
Viva Kerala

PJN Stadium, Margaon
13th Feb, 2010 – 3:45 PM IST

Salgaocar maintained their position at number 2 in the league table after playing out a draw with Air India. Karim Bencharifa would have been left lamenting the late equalizer by The Pilots due to a mommentary lapse in concentration by his defenders, as a victory at Kolhapur would have cut the gap with East Bengal to just one point at the top. The Goan Greens welcome the Neelapadda from the soccer crazy state of Kerala. Salgaocar, drawing their first match after three good results,  will look to bounce back and take all three points from this fixture as Viva Kerala is struggling to get the ball into the opponent’s net. Sueoka-Yakubu combo would be our men to watch out for, as they account for 17 goals for Salgaocar.

It has been no more than a torrid season for Kunhikrishnan’s Viva Kerala so far. The side has showcased insipid and bland performances, managing only a single victory in the season so far. The last five performances have seen four losses. Neelapadda have to get their act together as relegation fear looms large on them. As the Kerala boys travel west, the coach would be hoping that the team puts in a mettlesome performance and would hope that they manage to hoard at-least a point from Margaon. An unlikely victory here could see them hop out of the drop zone for the time being.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Ryuiji Sueoka (Salgaocar SC)
Belo Rasaq (Viva Kerala) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Salgaocar 2 – 0 Viva Kerala

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Air India
v
Mumbai FC

Sahu Maharaj Ground, Kohlapur
13th Feb, 2011 – 3:30 PM IST

The Pilots find themselves slotted at the twelfth place in the league, hovering just above the relegation zone. A win for ONGC or Viva may see them slip into the drop zone, which makes this match all the more crucial, as they welcome Khalid Jamil’s Mumbai FC side to Kolhapur.  The Airmen managed to salvage a draw in the last round as Okorogor Praise restored parity for the Maharashtra side just before the final whistle against Salgaocar. This was the third good result in a row for Yusuf Ansari’s lads after their shock victory over champions Dempo in round 11. Air India has looked good since then and will be hoping to garner a victory from this fixture too.

Mumbai FC, as a club, is going through a tough phase as their captain Nishanth Mehra has tested positive for a banned substance. Ebi Sukore came out clean after dope tests were done on various players. This Maharastra derby sees Khalid Jamil’s side take on resurgent Air India in round 14 of the league. Mumbai FC is sitting pretty on fifth and a win here would certainly take them to the fourth position, depending upon a favorable result in Dempo vs Churchill Goan derby.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Ishant Debnath (Air India)
Ebi Sukore (Mumbai FC) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Air India 1 – 0 Mumbai FC

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