KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL

V

PRAYAG UNITED SC

Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata

31st January, 2012 – 2:00 PM IST

***

 

Trevor Morgan’s side takes another step towards challenging Dempo at the top of the table when they clash against local rivals Prayag United at the YBK today. The match kicks off at 2 pm local time. East Bengal currently resides at the second spot in the league after sharing the points in their last round match against Churchill Brothers. Still three points behind the league leaders, Coach Morgan would be hoping that his team doesn’t drop anymore points from now on and put Dempo under pressure as the Goan side kicks off late. Sushanth Mathew is unavailable for this match as the midfielder was booked in his consecutive appearance. Aussie Tolgey slotted in his twelfth goal of the season to snatch a crucial away point in a match, which certainly wasn’t the best East Bengal performance we have witnessed so far in the action packed league for the former champions. Defender Nirmal Chettri is waiting in the wings to return back to the squad to bolster the defense.

East Bengal expected line-up: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Khabra, Gurwinder, Okpara, Soumik, Sanju, Vasum, Mehtab, Penn, Edmilson, Tolgey

The purple brigade from Kolkata are stationed at sixth in the league table as the Sonjay Sen mentored side were held to a draw at home against a courageous Sporting side in the last round. Prayag United now has twenty-nine points of their seventeen games, as they prepare to take on East Bengal in a Kolkata derby today. The first leg of this fixture finished in a draw. Prayag United would be hoping to cash on their rich form at the moment as the Kolkata side hasn’t lost in their last five games. Any points from this fixture could extend that run, but could impact the top the table drastically.

Prayag United expected line-up: Abhijit Mondal (GK) , Chinta, Bello, Arnab, Deepak, Deson, James, Jayanta., Shankar , Vincent , Joshimar.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Mehtab Hussain (East Bengal), Bello Rasaq (Prayag United SC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

East Bengal 1-1 Prayag United

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CHIRAG UNITED KERALA

V

MOHUN BAGAN AC

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi

31st January, 2012 – 6:30 PM IST

***

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The side from Kerala slumped further as the last round came to a conclusion in Trivandrum. Bottom place HAL were handed a lifeline as they overcame the host team’s challenge to claim all three points. This was Chirag Kerala’s eleventh loss of the season, which now makes the relegation battle a bit more interesting. The side from south India now welcomes Mohun Bagan at the university stadium to play out their round eighteen fixture. Pakir Ali’s side is without their influential centre back captain, Charles Dzsiah in this match, which makes the task of creating an upset even more distant. With Pailan arrows and now HAL crawling their way up, the Kochi based side needs to pull it’s socks up in time.

Chirag United expected line-up: Sharath K (GK), Faisal, Boakye, Kenneth, P.Mohanraj, Vignesh, S.Saleel, Vineeth, Asif K, James, Sunday.

The Mariners avenged their loss against Prayag United with a professional and robust 2-0 victory over listless Pailan Arrows at YBK in the last round. Prasanta Banerjee’s side seemed to have lost their position in the title chasing pack, but the Sabuj-Maroon brigade come right into contention after the recent win. Mohun Bagan would be missing the services og KIngshuk, the defender is set to be replaced by Dhanarajan at the back. Mohun Bagan is four points adrift of their arch rivals East Bengal and the supporters would be hoping for the gap to get less before the big derby. The Mariners, who are tipped to clinch all three points in Kerala today, could maintain their third spot come end of this round.

Mohun Bagan expected line-up: Sangram Mukherjee (GK), Surkumar, Dhanarajan, Anwar, Masih, Nabi, Lima, Jewel, Chettri, Barreto, Odafa.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Lylian Kenneth (Chirag United), Odafa Okolie (Mohun Bagan AC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Chirag United 0-3 Mohun Bagan

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SPORTING CLUB de GOA

V

PUNE FC

JLN Stadium, Fatorda, Goa

1st February, 2012 – 3:30 PM IST

***

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Ekendra Singh’s was probably the team of the last round after staging a spectacular fight back to hold on to a vital point after completing the match with nine players. Inspirational midfielders Adil Khan and Jovel Martins were sent off. They both are set to miss this crucial round eighteen encounter against high-flying Pune FC as the hosts try to continue to their five match unbeaten in Fatorda tomorrow. Defender Kieta will also miss the match due to the suspension ban. SC Goa is currently slotted at the ninth position after seventeen rounds of match, having garnered twenty-four points. The Flaming Oranje would love to halt the Pune Side’s unbeaten run by claiming all three points at home and consolidate their position in the league.

SC Goa expected line-up: Ashok Singh (GK), Mathew, Samanada, Prajyot, Park, Piexoto, Kalu, Rowlin, Macroy, Moga, Anthony .

Pune FC drew a very tricky fixture away at Shillong in the last round to continue take their undefeated streak to eleven matches now. Derrick Pereira’s side are now parked at seventh position in the league with twenty-nine eight points. Only one point separates third placed Mohun Bagan and Pune FC, hence a victory in this round could impact the position of the Red Lizards dramatically. Pune FC goalkeeper Abhra Mondal is out for three months following a collision in the last match against Shillong Lajong’s Lyngdoh in the last round.

The Pune side travel to Goa for a tricky away fixture. The last times these two teams met at the Balewadi, the hosts clinched a point after fighting back from two goals down. Amrinder Singh is expected to stand between the posts, after no less than three goalkeepers of the squad are out due to injury. Defenders Costa and Ramu return to bolster the squad along with Lester Fernandes.

Pune FC expected line-up: Amrinder (GK), Caitano Costa , Chika Wali , Baldeep Singh , Arata , Karma Tsewang , Kamaljit Kumar, Lester Fernandez , S Ramu , S.Singh, Kieta.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Mackroy Piexoto (SC Goa), Mandjou Kieta (Pune FC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

SC Goa 2-1 Pune FC

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MUMBAI FC

v

DEMPO SC

Balewadi Complex, Pune

1st February, 2012 – 6:00 PM IST

***

 

Five straight loses was probably not the way Mumbai FC would have wanted their new year to being with; but unfortunately this nightmare did come true for them. With Mumbai playing hosts to league leaders and title favourites Dempo SC there is a very strong possibility that this dreadful run of theirs will most probably continue on for one more week at least. An early goal decided the Mumbai derby in favour of Air India over the weekend which must have left Mumbai FC gutted. But Khalid Jamil will have to lift up the morale of the squad fairly quickly otherwise his team might end up with an embarrassing score line against their Goan opponents.

With just three points separating them from the relegation zone, it is high time for the side from Maharashtra to get their act together before it gets too late. A top half finish like last season looks highly unlikely and avoiding relegation should be their prime focus in the last third of the season. Absence of Faizal Rehman will not help their cause one bit has he is suspended for this clash due to suspension but Dhanachandra will be back to provide some much-needed solidarity at the back for the hosts.

Mumbai FC expected line-up: Nidhinlal (GK), Dane, Amiri, Peter Siddiquii, Kima, Kuttimani, Pereira, Noel Wilson, Ebi Sukore, Abhishek, G. Friday

Dempo SC must be kicking themselves for squandering a gem of on opportunity to go five clear of their nearest title threat East Bengal after sharing points against Salgaocar SC on Sunday. An absolute appalling display by their strikers Ranti Martins and Koko in finishing the moves was the prime reason behind Dempo’s draw against the defending champions. Against Mumbai FC, Armando Colaco’s men would be rearing to go in order to make up for their poor showing of Sunday. The Goans will be without the service of their defender Creson and Peixoto could be used in his place against Mumbai. Despite a shambolic display on Sunday Ranti and Koko are expected to be named in the starting eleven as well.

Dempo expected line-up: Subhasish (GK), Debabrata,, Rowilson, Peixoto, Naik, Carvalho, Densil, Climax, Anthony, Ranti, Koko.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Ebi Sukore (Mumbai FC), Densil (Dempo SC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Mumbai FC 0-3 Dempo SC

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HAL BANGALORE

V

SHILLONG LAJONG FC

Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore

1st February, 2012 – 3:30 PM IST

***

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Getting first win of the season can be a morale booster for side and it is even more special when it comes after a long wait of sixteen games. Despite their victory, HAL remains at the bottom of the table but the fact that it came against the other team in the relegation zone which is above them has helped them to close in the rest of the tail-enders considerably. As the things stand after the 17th round of the league, the Bangalore based side are still eight points away from the safety zone; but since they are facing the tenth placed Shillong side and that two in Bangalore might actually go in the favour of the home side. With Arrows showing absolute no signs of improving or scoring a goal or two, a win here would lift HAL up from the bottom of the table for the first time in the season and would also help in giving them an outside chance to make a last-ditch effort to stay in the premier division.

HAL expected line-up: Promod P (GK), Ramesh, Charles, James, Bijoy, R.C. Prakash, Goutam, Vinod, Hamza, Meetei, Rohit.

After Renedy Singh the arrival of Indian international Sushil Singh has gone a long way in lifting the morale of the 10th placed side but whether Sushil will get to feature in this match is debatable. With just two points from five games in January the north-east club has gone through a slight slump in form and would be looking to mend their ways against the last placed HAL. Pradyum Reddy was upbeat after the signing of Renedy Singh but unfortunately his side has still not returned to their winning ways. Will the arrival of Sushil Singh be any help for them? Only time will tell; but still THT predicts a narrow victory for the visitors in this fixture.

Shillong Lajong expected line-up: Lalthummawia (GK), W.Pasah, Zomingliana, Lallawamzuala, Eugene, Ramlamluaha, F.Tuboi, Boithang, Mathew, Subhash, John.

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Tuboi (Shillong Lajong FC), Pramod P (HAL Bangalore)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Shillong Lajong FC 1-0 HAL

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PAILAN ARROWS

V

SALGAOCAR SC

Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata

1st February, 2012 – 2:00 PM IST

***

 

It was a little over a month ago that Pailan Arrows picked up their last point in the league when they managed to hold Pune FC to a 1-1 draw at the Salt lake Stadium. Since then they have suffered three losses in a row which include a closely fought match against Sporting and two matches against the Bengal giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan; they were denied some clear penalty appeals in the later one, which could have changed the fate of the match. With seven points from seventeen games Arrows are second from bottom in the table but remain the only side which has failed to muster up a win in the season. They have managed to find the back of the net only eight times and with Salgaocar returning back to form in the new year the chances of that number going up are very bleak.

Pailan Arrows expected line-up: Naveen Kumar (GK), Rajib, Lalrozama, Protomesh, Gurtej Sr., Probir, Gurtej Jr., Bikramjeet, Jeevan, Sabeeth, Bijendra.

It is difficult to understand how the forwards of both Salgaocar and Dempo failed to score against each other in the Goan derby on Sunday. Both the sides had more than half a dozen chances to score but the match ended in a goalless draw. A win for the defending champions would have lifted them up to third position – something which looked highly unlikely after the kind of form Salgaocar displayed in the first half of the season. But it seems like with the turn of the year the fortunes of Karim Bencherifa’s men have also changed for good. In Arrows they face a deflated side and it shouldn’t be a problem for them to pick up three points against them. Skipper Luciano is suspended from the tie but THT believes SSC possess enough class in their ranks to emerge victorious from this match.

Salgaocar expected line-up: Karanjit Singh (GK), Khelemba, Tomba, Jaspal, Nicolau, Biswajit, Francis, Rocus, Ishfaq, Seuoka, Chidi

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Sabeeth(Pailan Arrows), Ishfaq Ahmed (Salgaocar SC)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Pailan Arrows 0-2 Salgaocar SC

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AIR INDIA

V

CHURCHILL BROTHERS SC

Balewadi Complex, Pune

2nd  February, 2012 – 6:00 PM IST

***

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Labelled as the giant killers, Air India have had an ordinary beginning to the year with just one victory from five matches in the month of January, that too against the struggling Mumbai FC. In Churchill Brothers they face some real tough competition. Suspensions handed out to both their prominent strikers Omi and Henry Ezeh has made the matters really difficult for Santosh Kashyap. Samson Singh and Sandesh Gadkari are expected to start for the pilots. Churchill are also without quite a few players but with their main strike force out, one should not hope for miracles from the Mumbai based Air India.

Air India expected line-up: Pawan Kumar (GK), Oken Singh, Collin, Tamba, Shafi, Bijoy, Dias, Kali, Alaudeen, Sandeep, Samson.

Churchill Brothers were not happy after they had to share points with second placed East Bengal considering that the Goans were playing at home. Currently at joint third place with Mohun Bagan, Cgurchill really need to step on the gas pedal if still want to be a part of the title challenge. A slip up here would pretty much make it a two-horse race for the title. With East Bengal facing a tricky encounter against Prayag United-who has been the surprise package of the season, this match gives a golden opportunity to Churchill Brothers to catch up on the leaders. Opara, Henry and Ravanan are suspended from the tie which means the chief responsibility to score will lay on the shoulders of captain Beto. Churchill has to win this in order to remain in the hunt for the title but the absence of their star strikers could make this task a little difficult.

Churchill Brothers expected line-up: Arindham Bhattacharya (GK), Beto, Saran Singh, Denzil, Zakeer, Naveen Sudhakaran, Steven, Lenny, Raju, Bineesh, Rafi

TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For

Tamba (Air India), Rafi (Churchill Brothers)

TheHardTackle’s Prediction

Air India 0-1 Churchill Brothers

  • lajong fan

    u said dat lajong wud win narrowly den hw come u wrote shillong lajong 0 and hal 3?

  • Kunwar Deep Singh

    hey, thanks for pointing that out. I have made corrections. 😀