I-Leagye 2013/14 has thrown up a plethora of surprises. The top teams of the country are struggling while lesser known teams are enjoying the season and round 14 is expected to be no difference.
Can Shillong Lajong Add On To Churchill Brothers Miseries’ ?
I-League defending champions have struggled this season. The club just has managed just a solitary victory under its belt and are languishing at the bottom of the table. They had a dismal start to the season and going by their recent performance they will have it tough when they face Shillong Lajong at home. The Club apart from a league victory over high flyers Sporting Clube de Goa has failed to really threaten the defense of the rivals. Inclusion of the Egyptian midfielder Shabana has stabilized the midfield little bit but defensive woes continue. Hardly there has been cohesiveness in the team and they looked out of ideas in the season. At the previous match midfield pair of Lenny and Mickey looked decent until first half, if the pair gets going it will be very interesting to see them in match against Shillong Lajong. The defense needs to tighten their screws. They have to be at their best against the likes of Glen Cornell and Ulliams. The Syrian defender Naser Al Shabai looked far from impressive. He has to come good along with the captain Dharmaraj Ravanan.
On the other hand Shillong Lajong will be high on confidence after beating Salgaocar FC at home in absentees of some key players. The foreign trio of Glen Cornell, Ulliams and Michol Son are having slight niggle and the decision of their inclusion will be taken on the match day. Shillong Lajong so far has looked good and will look to continue their form. Their first time this season broke their Goan Jinx by beating Dempo SC on opening day of the season. They will like to beat one more Goan club in Goa to prove that the win against Dempo was not a Fluke.
Bengaluru FC Looks To Extend Their Lead Top Of The Table.
The newcomers of the I-League Bengaluru FC against all odds have created a huge impact this season. The club has been performing above expectations in inaugural season. They even beat some heavyweights of the competition and are league leaders at present. Their newly formed club has a good mix of experience and young exuberance. Experienced players such as Sunil Chettri and Jhon Jhonson have motivated the younger players in the term to give top performance. Sunil Chettri has started to score the goals and that could be a worry of rivals now. The Indian International captain has scored 5 goals in last 3 matches and jumped among the leading goal scorers in the league. The credit of the team such performance has to be given to the Coach Ashly Westwood. The Englishman has done wonders with the inexperienced bunch of players. The players who used to be on the fringes of other I-league clubs have started to perform .
Mohammedan sporting Club didn’t score in last 3 matches and will find it difficult against the Steelman. The club has done well in the defence and the middle of the park but finishing has been poor. The likes of Tolgay Ozbey and Josimar have to come good and start scoring few goals. Josimar had a purple patch in between but he has lost his form and he has to regain his form back if the Black Panthers has to entertain thoughts of getting positive results. There is a lot of talent in the squad and if they play to their potential they could beat any team on their day.
Can Khalid Jamil Continue His Giant Killing?
Khalid Jamil’s Mumbai FC has looked completely different outfit after including IMG-R players. The struggling Mumbai FC got a new life after the player’s inclusion. The club showed lots of promise in last 2 matches and beat two of their most high profile teams of the league East Bengal and Pune FC. The old war horse Yusuf Yakubu has returned to the squad and his inclusion has revolutionized the club. The Ghanian veteran striker has made a huge impact since his arrival. He has notched up goals in both the matches and his presence boosts the morale of the rest of the team. Mohammad Rafi, NP Pradeep and Climax Lawrence experience have also contributed to the success of the Mumbai FC. Khalid Jamil shrew tactics of frustrating opponents and sudden counter attack have helped the team to get valuable points in the league.
They will now face next Mohun Bagan who have just had thrashed United SC 4-0. Despite 4-0 result against United SC the Mariners form has been in existence. They will be wary of the Mumbai FC and any lack of concentration will cost the game. Nigerian striker Odafa Okolie has looked rusty so far and he will have to come good against a strong Mumbai FC midfield. The new recruit Nigerian Christopher Chizoba had a dream debut scoring a brace in the last match and he will look to continue his form. Trickeries of Japanese Katsumi Yusa will play a huge role creating gaps in Mumbai FC defence
Salgaocar FC And East Bengal Look To Get Back On The Track.
Two of the red hot teams of the I-League teams Salgaocar FC and East Bengal FC will face off in the match of the round. Both teams are under a bit of pressure to perform. It will be a test of nerves for the camps and the team which handles pressure well, will come victorious. The experienced coaches of both teams will have battles in their hands. Derrick Pereira, Salgaocar FC ‘s coach, always had the better off East Bengal Coach Armando Colaco when they were at their former clubs. Derrick always had the upper hand over Armando from the days of Mahindra United and he will look to continue it. A loss in a match will be costly for both the teams since the league has become very tight and any slight slip up will not be acceptable. East Bengal will have to tighten their defence they looked shaky in last few matches. Darry Duffy will be a key figure in the match and his performance will certainly seal the fate of the match. Salgaocar FC on the other hand will look to get back on the winning track. We expect a tactical low scoring match and it will be keenly contested match.
United SC Will Look To Get Back On Winning Track.
United SC and Dempo SC are going through the same problems of Injuries. Both the clubs are without their key players due to injuries. It has been a disappointing season especially for Dempo SC. The Goan giants are languishing in 11th place and in danger of getting relegated. They will be without the services of foreigners and Head coach Arthur Papas who has taken a leave due to personal reason. The young brigade of the team has to rise to occasion and prove their worth in the league. United SC is a well organised team under Elco Schettorie. Despite their drubbing in last match against Mohun Bagan they will be favourite to win the match against Dempo SC. The Purple brigade will have to keep their nerves calm and put pressure on the young Dempo team. They are in the middle of the table and will look to get three vital points against Dempo to keep their hope alive to win the league.
Churchill Brothers V Shillong Lajong, December 10, 3.30 PM
United SC V Dempo SC December 10, 5.00 PM
Mohun Bagan AC V Mumbai FC, December 11, 1.45 PM
Mohammedan Sporting V Bengaluru FC December 11, 2.00 PM
Salgaocar FC V East Bengal FC, December 11, 3.30 PM
Rangdajiad United FC v Pune FC, December 11, 5.00 PM