MOHUN BAGAN

v

.SPORTING CLUB DE GOA

.

Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

Kickoff: 14:00 IST: Date – 17th December, 2011

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***

Prasanta Bannerjee’s team outperformed their opponents on Wednesday as his lads scripted a spirited fight back to conjure all three points in Bangalore. The mariners would certainly be high on morale as they welcome Sporting Club to their hallowed grounds tomorrow as a part of Round 10 fixture.

Mohun Bagan is slotted at fourth, with nineteen points after nine games, just two points off the summit. Prasanta Banerjee will once again deploy his best side for this tricky home fixture, with the top half of the table congested, there is absolutely no room for errors. Odafa is expected to start the match, after his brace which initiated the glorious come back. Kingshuk and Anwar will be spearheading the defense with Sangram in the goal. Chettri will once again sit due to an injury suffered in the SAFF Cup final last Sunday. Manish Maithani will start upfront alongside Odafa as both Barreto and Ashim Biswas not available for selection, giving Prasanta Banerjee a selection headache. A win here could take the Kolkata side on the top of the table and will certainly not help the cause of East Bengal, Churchill Brothers and Dempo, as they would feel the heat in their respective encounters.

Mohun Bagan expected line-up: Sangram Mukherjee (GK), Surkumar, Anwar, Kingshuk, Dhanarajan , Nabi, Masih , Jewel, Snehasish, Manish , Odafa.

Sporting Club de Goa, better known as Flaming Oranje, are occupying the eighth spot in the league table, after a disheartening loss at home to Air India in the last round. This was Ekendra Singh mentored side’s third successive loss. It is nothing less than a daunting task for the Goan club when they travel to Kolkata to take on the might of Mohun Bagan. South Sudan striker, James Moga has really been a sensation for the orange brigade as he notched up his seventh goal of the season, but his efforts were flushed in the drain after his side managed to give away lead. He would be our man to watch out in this match at YBK as his side try to consolidate their position. Defender Keita Boubacar would be out for this match as he was booked in a successive match.

SC Goa expected line-up: Gerrad’D Mello(GK), Dowson, Rojen, Prajot, Jovel, Kalu, Boboi, Adil, Moga, Joseph, Piexoto.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

Snehashish (Mohun Bagan AC)

Jovel (Sporting Club de Goa)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Mohun Bagan 2-0 Sporting Club de Goa

—–

CHURCHILL BROTHERS SC

v

SHILLONG LAJONG FC

.

PJN Stadium, Margao

Kickoff: 15:45 IST: Date – 17th December, 2011

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***

The Goan Reds could fleetingly top the table if they manage to clinch all three points today at JLN stadium in Fatorda. Manuel Gomes’ side is just one point behind the table toppers and arch rivals Dempo, and would take nothing but a win in tomorrow’s crucial tie. The strike partnership of Henry and ND Opara upfront has been the most noteworthy thing about Churchill Brothers this season as strikers are in red hot form. With Roberto Mendes (Beto) also thrown into the midfield mix, Churchill really build up well and are at ease during the game. In the last round, Churchill came from behind to garner all three points in a tough away fixture at Kerala. Former champion side is quite confident that they would come away with all three points at home but the squad can’t afford to be complacent against a good Shillong outfit.

Churchill Brothers expected line-up: Felix D’sousa(GK), Denzil, Gouramangi, Y.Raju, Ravanan, Steven, Lenny, Beto, Henry, N.D.Opara , Lalrindinka.

Shillong Lajong is slotted at the ninth place after hoarding twelve points from their nine games. After the humiliating five-nil loss to Dempo, Pradhyum Reddy’s side have bounced back well, sharing points against Mohun Bagan and registering their third win against Mumbai FC in the last round. The Meghalaya based side travel to Kolkata to face the Mohun Bagan challenge. Reddy’s side will be high on confidence as they to maintain the winning momentum as his young lads have just lost one game in their last five outings. Shillong Lajong would be missing the services of Aibor Khonjee as he is out serving a suspension and new recruit Lyngdoh, is expected to replace him at the back.

Shillong Lajong expected line-up: Poirei (GK), Subhas, Lalhlimthara, Lyngdoh, Wailadmi, John Menyonger, Lalramluaha , Lalchhuanmawia, James, Cristopher, Tuboi.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

ND Opara (Churchill Brothers)

Lalramluaha (Shillong Lajong)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Churchill Brothers SC 3-1 Shillong Lajong FC

——–

CHIRAG UNITED KERALA

V

PRAYAG UNITED SC

.

University Stadium, Trivandrum

Kickoff: 15:30 IST: Date – 17th December, 2011

.

***

Coach Nizam Pakir Ali needs to work on his team’s defensive duties as his team squandered a goal lead to surrender thelast round match, against Churchill Brothers. Making a comeback after suspension, key defender Charles Dzisah couldn’t find his boots as Churchill were able to breach their walls twice to secure a unlikely victory. The Kochi based side has lost three out of their last five games, and would be planning to spring a surprise by becoming the first team to clinch all three points off Prayag United. Anil Kumar and David Sunday are yet to sizzle as their finishing has let the midfield down. The Kerala side is hovering dangerously close to the drop zone as only the goal difference has kept them out of it. Any points against a in form Prayag united would be bonus at this moment for the south Indian side as they look to push up the table.

Chirag United expected line-up: Sharath K(GK), Sherin Sam, Boakye, Jagdeep, Charles, Vineeth, Asif K, Ajayan, S.Saleel , Anil Kumar, David Sunday.

Prayag United are flying high after they landed a fifth spot in the league and is now the only team in the league which is yet to taste defeat. The Kolkata side currently has hoarded massive seventeen points so far with five draws, most recently against Pailan Arrows in the last round at YBK. Coach Sonjoy Sen ould be disappointed with some of the results as Prayag United could have gone onto win some matches. Bello Rasaq has been revelation this season along with Arnab Mondal at the back. The men in purple will the miss the services of captain fantastic Lalkamal Bhowmick in the middle due to some injury he picked up during practice, and Jayanta Sen is expected to replace him in the middle of the park. Strike trio of Yusif Yakubu, Kayne Vincent and Joshimar has been the most deadly one and would go out to prove themselves once again in Trivandrum today.

Prayag United expected line-up: Avijit(GK), Chinta, Bello , Arnab, Deepak, Lalkamal, Denson, Sankar , Subhash , Josimar, Yakubu.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

Anil Kumar (Chirag United Kerala)

Denson Devadas (Prayag United)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Chirag United Kerala 1-1 Prayag United

______

KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL
V
PAILAN ARROWS


Yuvabharati Krirangan
18th Dec, 2011 – 2:00 PM IST

***

Trevor James Morgan’s Red-&-Gold brigade are on a high after getting the better of table topper Dempo SC in last round. Kingfisher East Bengal have moved up to the 3rd spot in the league standing, 2 points adrift of runaway leaders Dempo Sports Club. The Laal-Holud army will take on Sukhwinder Singh mentored young Pailan Arrows outfit in their 10th league game of the season at the colossal Yuvabharati Krirangan this Sunday and Trevor Morgan will be gunning for a comprehensive victory against the struggling youngsters in a bid to improve their goal difference statistics.

Mehtab Hossain’s return from injury has provided East Bengal a huge psychological boost and his midfield partnership with Penn Orji, who was in absolutely brilliant touch against Dempo, will influence the outcome of the match to a great extent. Morgan will once-again opt to start with his tried and tested line-up with the only possible change being India international Nirmal Chhteri’s return to the starting XI in place of Gurwinder Singh. Sanju Pradhan may also get the nod to start ahead of Harmanjot Khabra. Youngster Doungel, who played his debut I-League match against Dempo in last round, is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up alongside Tolgay Ozbey upfront – which would mean that both Robin Singh and Baljit Sahni will once-again have to warm the reserve bench.

East Bengal expected line-up: Sandip Nandy (GK), Naoba, Nirmal, Okpara, Nirmal, Sanju, Penn, Mehtab, Vasum, Tolgey, Doungel.

Pailan Arrows have got off to a shocking start to the season and their struggle to find the perfect balance has so far refused to leave them alone. Sukhwinder Singh will have to think out of the box if they intend to avoid a humiliating defeat against the three times Champions in round-10. Although they managed to secure a hard-earned point in their last match against Prayag United, achieving a similar feat against East Bengal seems to be highly unlikely. Talented Arrows custodian Naveen Kumar can expect a tough outing against the Red-&-Golds.

Pailan Arrows expected line-up: Naveen(GK), Rajiv, Gurtej, Shouvik, Milan, Bikramjeet, Avinabo, Malswamfela, Krishanu, Jibon, Sabeeth.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

Tolgay Ozbey (East Bengal)

Naveen Kumar (Pailan Arrows)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

East Bengal 4-0 Pailan Arrows

______

MUMBAI FC
V
PUNE FC


Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune
18th Dec, 2011 – 6:30 PM IST

***

.

Time for yet another Maharashtra Derby as Mumbai FC prepares to host Pune FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex – which is ironically Pune FC’s home venue. Both the teams are coming into the match with a contrasting mind-set as Mumbai faced yet another away loss against Shillong Lajong FC in their round-9 encounter at Guwahati, while Pune FC secured a morale boosting 3-1 away win over defending Champions Salgaocar SC at the latter’s own den in Goa.

Mumbai FC will miss the services of two vital players in Ebi Sukore and Kingslay Chioma in this match due to suspension. In the absence of Sukore, his strike partner Frieday will have to shoulder more responsibility in the attacking third and Khalid Jamil will rely heavily on him to find Pune’s back of the net. Goalkeeper Ishaan Debnath had a brilliant outing against Shillong Lajong and once-again he will be a tough nut to crack for Mandjou Keita lad Pune FC strike department.

Mumbai FC expected line-up: Ishan Debnath (GK), Peter, Nicholas, Lobo, Malswamkima, Keegan, Dane, Dhanachandra, Caldeira, Frieday, Kuttymani.

Derrick Pereira does not have any injury or suspension concerns and he has a full strength squad to choose from. The Red Lizards are in red-hot form, getting the better of defending Champions Salgaocar SC in their last league encounter. Mandjou Keita, after recovering from prolonged injury, has finally found his rhythm and Mumbai defense will have to be on its toes to restrict the talented striker from notching up yet another goal. Veteran midfielder Shanmugham Venkatesh was also on the scoring chart against Karim’s men and Derrick Pereira will expect a repeat of such terrific performance from his most experienced player.

Pune FC expected line-up: Abhra Mondal (GK), Srikanth, Anas, Chika Wali, Gurjinder, Karma T, Lester, S. Venkatesh, Arata , Jeje, Keita.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

Sampath Kuttymani (Mumbai FC)

Mandjou Keita (Pune FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Mumbai FC 1-1 Pune FC

______

DEMPO SC
V
AIR INDIA


JLN Stadium, Margao
18th Dec, 2011 – 3:30 PM IST

***

.

After back to back defeats, Armando Colaco’s Dempo outfit will look to bring their derailed campaign back on track from this match against the Airmen to be played in their own backyards. The defeat against East Bengal must have hurt the sentiments of Dempo players and it will not be surprising to see them replicate their last season’s drubbing of the Airmen in this edition as well.

Armando does not have any suspension concerns and is expected to field an unchanged line-up that took on field against East Bengal a couple of days ago. Mahesh Gawli might have made a couple of crucial mistakes in last game which led to both the Red-&-Gold goals, but it is highly unlikely that Armando will replace his most experienced defender just after one poor outing.

Dempo expected line-up: Subhashish (GK), Mahesh Gawli, Creston,Roy, Samir Naik, Peter, Climax, Clifford, Anthony, Ranty, Abranches.

Air India’s fortune is certainly on the rise and they have registered quite a few upset wins in this edition of the league – the latest one being the impressive 3-1 win against Sporting Clube de Goa in round-9. They are certainly no pushovers and Armando will definitely ask his players to take them lightly at their own risk. Former India international Manjit Singh is in tremendous form and he has the capability to provide a few scares to Dempo’s star studded defense. The outcome of the match will depend a lot on his partnership with Henry Ezeh upfront. Watch out for former Red-&-Gold player Kali Allauddin, he can prove to be handful on the wings with his trickery and dribbling skills.

Air India expected line-up: Pawan Kumar (GK), Prem, Collin, Tamba, Bijoy, Omi, Kali Allauddin, Rahul, Sandip, Ezeh Henry, Manjit.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

Ranti Martins (Dempo SC)

Manjit Singh (Air India)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

Dempo SC 3-1 Air India

 ______

HAL SC
V
SALGAOCAR SC


Bangalore Football Stadium
18th Dec, 2011 – 3:30 PM IST

***

.

Karim Bencharifa’s defending Champions’ frustrating struggle continues as they were completely outclassed by Pune FC in a crucial round-9 clash at Fatorda stadium Margao. In round-10, they make a short trip to the Southern city of Bangalore to face off against eternal strugglers HAL SC and Karim Bencharifa will desperately look to garner all three points from this encounter.

Securing just a single point from first nine rounds, the Aircraftsmen are lying at the rock bottom of the league table and will find it really difficult to avoid relegation this season. Nothing has gone in their favor from the very beginning and coach Thyagaraj, along with Manager Muralidharan, will have his task cut out against the wounded Goan Greens in this match.

HAL expected line-up: P. Pramod, Chandandeep, Adeola, Ramesh, Kenneth, Meetei, Goutam, James, Karthigeyan, Vinod, Hamza.

The condition is no better in the opposition camp either and after clinching the Federation Cup crown, Salgaocar have struggled to find that perfect chord. Edeh Chidi is trying his best upfront, but a lack of support from other strikers is making his job even more difficult. Japanese recruit Ryuiji Sueoka is surprisingly struggling from the very begging and play-maker Tomba Singh has been blowing hot-and-cold – making it very difficult for Karim Bencharifa to stumble upon the desired rhythm. Although they are expected to sail through this tie with all three points, Karim will be a worried man ahead of a few crucial fixtures coming up in next few rounds.

Salgaocar expected line-up: Karanjit Singh(GK), Rino Anto, K. Meitei, Sabrosa, Biswajit, Marcus, Tomba, Rocus Lamare, Barbosa, Ryuji Sueoka, Chidi.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For:

Femmi Adeola (HAL SC)

Edeh Chidi (Salgaocar SC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction:

HAL SC 0-2 Salgaocar SC