Round-6 Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 2/7
Exact Score-line : 1/7

Season’s Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 25/42
Exact Score-line : 11/42

***

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Chirag United
v
JCT FC

Kolkata, 03/01/2010 – 1:45 PM IST

The Ludhiana side registered their first victory of the season in round six, edging past struggling viva Kerala side at the Guru Nanak Stadium. Defender Maninder Singh got on the scoring sheet for the Millmen just after the break, breaking the deadlock. The win pushes JCT just above the last place. After the much need win, Sukhi’s side would be looking to capitalize on it and keep the impulse going against a very commendable and fearless Durand cup champions Chirag United. JCT need to play with same zest against the Kolkata side to resurrect their season and creep up the table.Omolaja Kareem, Gurpreet Singh, Maninder Singh and Daljit Singh need to keep their defense line in check as Amandeep Singh plays a free role in the middle of the park for the Millmen against a very confident Chirag united.

Chirag united, being unbeaten in their last four matches would be looking to repeat their last home performance, when they beat an impressive HAL side at home in round five. After a well earned point in Margaon, where the Brazilian Josimar restored parity for the Bengal side just before the full time whistle. Subrata Bhattacharya would be hoping that his side showcases the same “never say die” attitude when they travel up north to play the match midst stern winter and awful pitch. With players like Elija Junior, D. Devadas, Jerry and lalkamal in decent form, JCT’s defense should expect a tough day out in Kolkata.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

Gurpreet Singh (JCT), Joshimar (Chirag United)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Chirag United 2-1 JCT FC

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Churchill Brothers
v
AIFF XI

Margaon, 03/01/2010 – 3:45 PM IST

Churchill brothers preserved their third spot in the league after playing a draw against ONGC FC.This Goans came back from behind to snatch  a point of the fixture, after the Nigerian goal machine, O. Okolie scored his tenth of the season just before the break. This was the third instance in this season when Odafa helped Churchill restore parity in the match and help Vincent Subramaniam’s side to pull together some important points. Vincent needs to address the “leaking goals at the back” problem which has left his side trailing behind salgaocar and East Bengal.

AIFF XI won their second consecutive match in the league by winning against HAL in the sixth round at Gurgaon. Finally Desmond Bulpin’s side has started to synch with each other after they were overpowered by other sides during the initial round match ups. The under 21’s put in a strong performance in the first half, taking the match to HAL , similar to round five match up , when they defeated Air India. Malsawmfela and Bikramjeet Singh scored for the debutants as the young Indian side moved to tenth place in the table. The young defense would have their skills trialed by the most baneful striker in the league, namely O.O kolie. Coach Buplin might be expecting another good performance by his young brigade as they travel to Margaon.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

O.Okolie (Churchill Brothers), Tirthankar Sarkar(AIFF XI)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Churchill Brothers 3-0 AIFF XI

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Air India
v
Pune FC

Kohlapur, 03/01/2010 – 3:30 PM IST

Air India hit the rock bottom of the I- League table after suffering their second consecutive loss to the high flying and virtually unstoppable red and gold brigade from Kolkata. Arup Debnath  picked the ball six  times out of his net  as East Bengal netted half a dozen times ,  inflicting the biggest defeat on the Mumbai lads this season . Ghanaian Eric Mputu’s lone strike in the second half was the only solacement for the team as they conceded twice in as many minutes just at the stroke of full time in YBK. The pilots need to rework and remold their strategy of over -defending as they welcome a rejuvenated Pune FC side to the Cooperage Ground. Yusuf Ansari’s side would be hoping to forget the bleak 2010 part of the season so far and look to register their first three points in 2011 at home.

Pune FC jumped to the joint eighth spot in the league as they registered their first triumph in the season against a good salgaocar side. Left back Selwyn Fernandes scored the sole goal for the red lizards in the first half at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margaon. With the Pune based club exhibiting an upstanding defensive performance against the mighty Goans, it will be difficult for the struggling Mumbai side to score in this fixture. On the other hand, Derrick Pereira would be hoping that his side starts hoarding some valuable points after their dim start to the campaign.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

Samson Singh (AI), Sunil Kumar (Pune FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Air India 0-1 Pune FC

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HAL SC
v
Salgaocar

Bangalore, 03/01/2010 – 3:30 PM IST

Hindustan Aero will play their first home match of the season, after playing back to back six away matches because of the renovation of the pitch at their Bangalore Stadium. The side from Karnataka slumped to their second consecutive loss in a week, as RC Prakash bagged a consolation goal in the dying moments of their sixth round match against the newbie AIFF XI, gifting them their second victory in as many days. Thyagraj would like to retread the team’s formation and strategy against Salgaocar as they would like start their home season with a comprehensive and fighting performance, which the side demonstrated in their opening away matches. Players like Abdullah Hamza, Muralidaran and Rohit Chand need to gear up for this game and should focus on pulling together more ball possession at home.

Karim Bencharifa’s side sank at the home for the first time this season, after failing to cancel out Selwyn Fernandez’s lone strike at Fartorda stadium against Pune FC.This was the clubs second serial loss in a week after losing out to East Bengal at YBK in round five. Yakubu and Sueoka phasing and synching well with other, it was mixed tale of missed opportunities in front of the goal for salgaocar and good obstinate defending by Pune FC in round six.

Both the sides are in dire need of points after slumping to two consecutive defeats and this could turn out to be a crucial match, as both the sides look to maintain their top half of the table position.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

Abdullah Hamza (HAL), Yakubu (Salgaocar)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

HAL 1 – 2 Salgaocar

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Mumbai FC
v
East Bengal

Kohlapur, 04/01/2010 – 3:30 PM IST

Mumbai FC have lost three matches in a row now in the league , a streak they would love to break at home, but the Mumbai side is up against  East Bengal, a team  that would have been last on Khalid Jamil’s list. Their most recent loss came against much more reformed Mohun Bagan side in round six. Mumbai FC has failed to score in their last two league matches. The West Coasters are slotted at a tidy sixth position in the table. The trio of Henry Ezeh, Nigerian Sukore and Nicolas Rodriguez need to get their act together, if the Mumbai side needs to fend off dropping further in the table. The defense line up of peter Siddique and Anas would have the immense task of stopping the duo of Tolgay and Sanju.

East Bengal steam rolled Air India in the sixth round as they slotted six past the visitors and preserved their perfect start to the season. Run away leaders opened up a lead of six points after as many rounds of matches. Mehtab, Okpara and Gurwinder have been laudable this season, with Naoba crossing beautifully for the Bengal club from the right flank. With Mumbai FC also keen to end their dismal run, this would be an exciting prospect as the round seven kicks off tomorrow. Soumik De, an unsung hero in defence will miss this encounter due to double booking.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

Henry Ezeh (Mumbai FC) , Tolgay (East Bengal)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Mumbai FC 1-3 East Bengal

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Viva Kerala
v
Mohun Bagan

Kannur, 04/01/2010 – 4:00 PM IST

The Kochi side welcomes a resurgent Mohun Bagan in round seven at Kozhikode. Viva is still yet to claim three points from a fixture this season, as the side hovers just above the relegation zone. Kunhikrishnan’s side reveled a sizable ball possession and demoed attacking football after the break in Ludhiana, but went down to a solitary goal in their disheartening loss to JCT.

Mohun Bagan extended their revivification as Subhas Bhowmick’s side beat Mumbai FC in Kolkata, taking them up to seventh in the table with eight points. Continuing their unbeaten streak under the veteran, Muritala got on the score sheet just before the half time and Asim Biswas made it two nil to the hosts ten minutes before t he full time. The deployment of the captain Ishfaq in defense has certainly worked for the Greens and Maroons, addressing the flank weakness for Bhowmick. The mid-field combo of Manish, Gouranga, Snehasish and Jayanta has been patiently building up well in the attacks and will be expected to the same in Kerala.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

Sabeeth (Viva Kerala) ,Barreto (Mohun Bagan)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Viva Kerala 1-2 Mohun Bagan

——

Margaon,

Dempo SC
v
ONGC

Margaon 04/01/2010 – 3:45 PM IST

Holders moved into the fourth position in the table after sixth round of matches at Fatorda, Margaon. They take on the newly promoted Mumbai based ONGC FC. Dempo were left ruing a spot kick miss by Ranti and it was once again a tale of missed opportunities for Armando Colaco’s side. Clifton Gonsalves gave Goans an the lead just at the stroke of halftime, but had to share points as they saw Chirag United’s Josimar equalize just in the kick of time. Once again a defensive lapse in concentration let to the champions dropping points at home. Full backs John, Marcus, Debabrata   and Peter might be hoping not to echo the same in the team’s first match up in the New Year.

ONGC came away with a worthful one point at home to Churchill Brothers at Kolhapur in round Six, after Opara gave the hosts a storming lead to build upon. The Nigerian Peter Odafe put a praiseworthy performance against the goans and would be hoping to replicate the same against another Goan team, this time at Margaon. The institutional side is breeding near the relegation zone and would be expecting kick start the New Year in style.

TheHardTackle’s players to watch out for:

Ranti Martins (Dempo) , N.D Opara (ONGC FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Dempo 2- 0 ONGC FC