I-League 2010/11 : Previews and Predictions – Round 9

Round-8 Prediction Statistics:

Correct Predictions : 3/7
Exact Score-line : 1/7

Season’s Prediction Statistics:

 Correct Predictions : 31/56
Exact Score-line : 13/56



Kolkata, 14/01/2011 – 1:45 PM IST

The I-League faithful get a back to back dose of Kolkata derby as Chirag United face off against the leaders East Bengal at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday. In a very significant top of the table clash for both the sides, coach Subrata Bhattacharya would be keeping his fingers crossed for the return of influential striker Elijah Junior in his ranks. Chirag shrugged off the Mohun Bagan challenge in round eight at the same ground and would be hoping to close the gap on league leaders this time. The midfield of Lalkamal-Denson-Jerry is working very well for the Durand cup champions, but this time they would be facing a tough prospect in challenging an East Bengal midfield comprising of the Mehtab-Penn-Sanju combo. East Bengal goal-machine Tolgay Ozbey is suspended for this game, but the Chirag centre back duo of Arnab and Chika would have a difficult task of stopping Robin Singh, whom Morgan will welcome back in the squad after serving one match suspension.

The Red-&-Gold army marched on to their seventh triumph of the I-league season as they beat a stiff Pune FC side at YBK. Tolgay scored for the hosts after the break as they maintained their 4 point cushion at the top of the table. Trevor Morgan would be concerned about the missed opportunities in the last match as Penn Orji hit the post as many as three times and Tolgay missed some glorious chances. The defense has been robust for the Kolkata giants so far this season and Okpara has been the pillar at the back, conceding only twice this season. Trevor Morgan would be hoping for an encore of the performances they have put in last week. Robin singh would be the man to watch as he would be ever so hungry to score as he hasn’t hit the back of the net since his brace in round 6 rout of Air India.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Josimar (Chirag United), Robin Singh (East Bengal)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Chirag United 0 – 1 East Bengal


Kohlapur, 14/01/2011 – 3:30 PM IST 

ONGC registered their second consecutive defeat after they went down to a solitary goal in Ludhiana against the Millmen. Subrata Bhattacharya’s (Jr) debutant side is still looking to register their first win in the league desperately as they welcome fellow strugglers from south in Viva Kerala. The situation for the I-league Div-II champions looks quite grim and bleak as they fell short of options upfront due to the lack quality finishing. Having garnered only 2 points from their last five outings, Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr) would be hoping that the Nigerian striker N.D. Opara can turn things around for the Mumbai side in this all important bottom of the table clash.

Neelapadda from Kerala have been nothing less than unpredictable this season. Post registering their very first win of the season against The Mariners in round seven, Kunhikrishnan’s side went down to ever so impressive Mumbai FC at Kohlapur. The strikers couldn’t get on the score sheet as the Kerala side slumped to a unsafe twelfth position in the table, lingering there since last few rounds now.

This clash could turn out to be an oasis in the desert for Kunhikrishnan’s boys as they look to garner some points and more importantly, boost some confidence in the young side. The partnership of Nigerian Felix Chimaokwu and CS Sabeeth will be very crucial and they would be buckling up to bounce back.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

N.D. Opara (ONGC), Felix Chimaokwu (Viva Kerala) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

ONGC 1 – 0 Viva Kerala


Margaon, 14/01/2011 – 3:45 PM IST  

Joaquim Alemao’s men slumped to their maiden defeat of the season in the last round in all important Goan derby. The breathtaking clash saw Lalit Thapa pick the ball out of the net four times, despite his side netting the ball thrice themselves. Vincent scored a brace with Durga Boro getting the third one. Vincent Subramaniam needs to re-address the defending issues as they gave away silly spot kicks via wreckless challenges in the match against Salgaocar. Odafa didn’t add to his goal scoring tally, after he had to be substituted early in the first half. The Churchill coach would be hoping him to fire all guns as they welcome the Bangalore boys. Zakeer has been putting in good solid performances in the middle of the park for the Goans and would be our man to watch out.

HAL halted their losing streak in Kolhapur as they shared points with the Airmen in the last round, helping themselves to a respectable seventh spot in the league table. Xavier Vijaykumar scored for the boys in green, but they let in a late equalizer, gifting a point to Air India. It will be tough task for Thyagaraj’s side to come from Margaon with any points, as Churchill Brothers would be hoping to get back to winning ways as they welcome back Odafa in their side. HAL would be looking for a spirited performance from their holding midfielders and defenders in this match.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

M.P. Zakeer (Churchill Brothers), R.C. Prakash (HAL) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Churchill Brothers 3 – 1 HAL


Gurgaon, 15/01/2011 – 2:00 PM IST  


Desmond Bulpin’s side pulled a shocking result as they snatched a point off defending champions Dempo SC at Gurgaon in round eight. The young brigade again attested the fact that they are no short of fighting prowess after they were ripped apart by Churchill Brothers in round seven.  The debutants surprisingly got the lead in the tenth minute as Shilton D Silva notched up the goal, taking his tally to two for the season.

AIFF are running eleventh in the table , equal on points with four other teams. They welcome a resilient Mumbai FC side to Gurgaon. Desmond would be hoping to take advantage of the extremely cold conditions in Gurgaon, as the lads form Mumbai wouldn’t be accustomed to it.

Mumbai FC came back to winning ways registering their first win in last 5 encounters. A brace form the Nigerian midfielder Ebi Sukore helped Khalid Jamil’s side secure all three points in Kolhapur and maintain their sixth spot in the table. The Mumbai side travel to Gurgaon to face AIFF XI in hope to string a second successive win. Henry Ezeh will be looking to link up well with Rodriguez in the mid field and get back to finishing the moves for the side. Mumbai had a dream start to the league but have squandered the opportunity of challenging the big guns for the title. Khalid Jaamil would be hoping that his side revives the same defending prowess which they had showcased in the initial league matches.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Deepak Devrani (AIFF XI), Ebi Sukore (Mumbai FC) 

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

AIFF XI 1 – 1 Mumbai FC


Ludhiana, 15/12/2011 – 2:00 PM IST 

It finally seems that Sukhwinder Singh’s side has found its rhythm after experiencing a disastrous start to the campaign. The Ludhiana sides notched up its second victory in three matches and are now slotted at tenth in the table along with four other sides.  Keke Ibrahim scored the lone goal for the Millmen in otherwise not so entertaining performance by his team. It seems like a clear tactic deployed by Sukhi in which JCT soak up all the moves and try to hit on the counter. It’s working for them at the moment, as they host Airmen from Mumbai. With relentless winters taking its toll on the visiting teams in Ludhiana, JCT will be looking to board their third win this season.

Airmen have been winless in their last five games in the league, netting only three times. The Mumbai team managed to snatch a point in Kolhapur in their last round match when Collin Abranches netted the equalizer for them in the dying moments of the match. Yusuf Ansari’s side is battling in the relegation zone and would be looking to get to get their first win of the season as they travel up north. It won’t be an easy task for Ansari’s side as JCT defense has been showcasing good solid defending from past three matches.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Balwant Singh (JCT FC), Samson Singh (Air India)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

JCT 2 – 0 Air India


Margaon, 15/01/2011 – 3:45 PM IST   

The Goan club has come back well, after their back to back defeats in round five and six, and is slotted at the second place in the table after the round eight matches. Salgaocar, along with Churchill Brothers, probably gave us the best match in the league so far with Karim Bencharifa’s men coming on top. The Moroccan would be hoping that Ryuiji SueokaTomba–Fernandes continue with the purple patch of form they have hit. Their Brazillain skipper Luciano Sabrosa has been nothing less than a revelation for the Goans as he netted his third goal in last round’s Goan derby. Yusif Yakubu will be our man to watch for in this big match, and Salgaocar will be hoping that he brings in all his experience when the two sides meet on Saturday at Fatorda. His link up play with the Japanese Sueoka has been annihilative for the opponent defenders and the defending line up for the mariners won’t have an easy day out, for sure.

The Green-&-Maroon brigade from Kolkata slumped to their second consecutive defeat under Subhas Bhowmick as they were defeated in the first Kolkata derby of the season against Durand Cup holders Chirag United. The comeback of hitman Chidi Edeh didn’t help the Mariners much as they went down by a solitary goal. It was an insipid performance which the three time champions would like to forget, as they travel to Goa.

Star striker Muritala Ali has been guilty of missing some great chances and the midfield of Snehashish-Jayanta looked clueless against Chirag. The Mariners lie at a lowly ninth in the table and would be hoping to garner all three points by showcasing a mettlesome performance in Goa. Barreto would be the man to watch out for the Salgaocar defense as he would like to prove a point after he was benched by Mr. Bhowmick in the last match.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Yusif Yakubu (Salgaocar), Jose Barreto (Mohun Bagan)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Salgaocar 2 – 1 Mohun Bagan



Margaon, 16/01/2011 – 3:45 PM IST   

The defending champions are sitting pretty at joint third in the league after the round eight matches. Coach Armando Colaco’s side were left lamenting the missed chances, including a spot kick, as they were managed to come away from Gurgaon with just a point. It was a match which was heavily tipped to be won by the national champions. Ranty Martins has not been at his best this season so far as he wasted many chances in the match. Once again Beto was the Dempo man of the match as he threaded some dangerous balls for the front line, but all went in vain.

Dempo welcome the Red Lizards from Pune at Nehru Stadium on Sunday, hoping to hoard all three points, and close in on the Red-&-Gold army. Dempo are drawing too many matches for Armando’s liking and will need to buckle up their defense for this crucial match.

Pune FC is currently running at eighth in the league after eight points from as many games, after they lost their previous round match against the table toppers, East Bengal. It was a bland performance by the team, as the result could have easily been generously in favor of the Kolkata giants. The Red lizards have scored only three times in their past five matches. Derrick Pereira’s team has problems upfront, with Izumi Arata being the last stop for all the attacking moves. The Brazillain striker Edmar has been a major disappointment and still needs to prove his mettle. The midfield of Ajayan-Prasad-Lester needs to get its act together and synch up with the strikers, if the Pune side needs to collect any points off the champions.

TheHardTackle’s Players To Watch Out For: 

Beto (Dempo), Edmar (Pune FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

Dempo 2 – 1 Pune FC

3 Responses to “I-League 2010/11 : Previews and Predictions – Round 9”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Satinder Pal Singh says:

    My predictions-

    EB 3-0 Chirag
    ONGC 0-0 Viva
    AIFF 1-1 MFC
    Churchill 4-0 HAL
    JCT 2-1 Air India
    Salgaocar 0-1 MB
    Dempo 1-1 PFC

  2. pulok malakar says:

    My predictions-

    EB 1-0 Chirag
    ONGC 1-0 Viva
    AIFF 2-1 MFC
    Churchill 1-1 HAL
    JCT 1-1 Air India
    Salgaocar 3-3 MB
    Dempo 1-1 PFC