In I-League Round 15, Prayag United clash withPune FC, Churchill brothers look to extend their lead top of the table while East Bengal play ONGC  in search of 3 points to put pressure on the league leaders. The HardTackle takes a look at the matches and a key tactical battles that could shape the results in the six matches to be played in this round.

Air India, Salgaocar FC Look For The Victory

Air India will look to bounce back from recent bleep and secure victory over struggling Salgaocar FC at Balewadi sports complex, Pune. The Air India team will even  look to take revenge of the defeat where they got hammered by Salgaocar FC. The pilots have experienced players in the team. The likes of Micky Fernandez, Henry Ezeh, Jhon Dias will have a huge role to play in the match. The youngster such as Pradeep and Sauvik Ghosh will have to be responsible in the midfield and help the team to produce a desired result for the match

Salgaocar have started the New Year on a disastrous note and continue to struggle in the league. They got hammered in the last game by East Bengal in their own back yard. The team was out of ideas against East Bengal and will look to rectify their mistake against the pilots. The team will miss the services of the influential defender Luciano Sabrosa. Milgres Gonsalves is expected to start upfront along with the Marcus Masceranhas.  The team is just above the relegation zone and the likes of Frances Fernandez, Quinton Jacobs and Gilberto Oliveira have to work as a team to ensure team remains out relation zone after this round.

Sporting Look To Continue Their Good Run

Can Sporting Continue their winning run over Shillong Lajong

Sporting clube de Goa has found their form back after starting the season badly. The flaming orange under their new Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon have secured positive results against the likes of Prayag United and Air India. The Spaniard will hope that team continues to play according to his plan and secure few more victories in the process. The team will have to be careful when it comes to their defense as  the club will miss the services of Boubacar Keita who will serve one match suspension. Their influential play-maker Ogba Kalu will have to continue his good run for the team. The Japanese striker Seiya Sugishita expected to start.  He will be the man to watch out in the next match.

Shillong Lajong is struggling in the league and is in the relegation zone. The team after early promise in the league has struggled. They have failed to regain the ball possession and that has let the opposition team to dominate them. The north eastern club will look to get their act together and forget the last round 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Churchill brothers. The first choice goalkeeper of the team Lalthuammawia Ralte will return after serving a one match suspension. The likes of Renedy Singh, Sushil Kumar and Gbene Friday have to play a major role for Lajong to come out of this match with any points.

United Sikkim’ s Quest For The Victory Continues

United Sikkim has failed to taste the joy of the victory for a long time now and the team is at the bottom of the table. The snow lions failed to impress their fans. They have some talent in the team but they have failed to play as a team. The team lacked the creativity in the midfield and needs to find a leader in the middle of the park to steady the ship. The Strikers upfront lack the extra bit which will put fear in the opposition minds. The new Australian coach Nathan hall will have to motivate the team when they play next against a confident Mumbai FC. The young defender Sandesh Jhigan will be the man to watch out in the match. He has been impressive through the season for the Snow Lions.

Mumbai FC has looked an impressive outfit in the league. The Mumbai base side doesn’t depend on any individual which is their biggest strength. The club’s midfield, defense and striker have worked as a unit and will look to continue to do so. The Mumbai based club will look to add more misery on United Sikkim and grab all 3 points on offer. The veteran Yusuf Yakubu has been a leader in the field. He has scored a goal from nowhere for the team and has dropped deep when needed.  Khalid Jamil’ s boys will look to continue their good run in the league and take the three points on offer.

Prayag Untied Look To Upset Pune FC

Can Prayag stop Pune FC ?Prayag United’ s next match against Pune FC will be the marquee match of the round. Prayag united after defeating Dempo sports club will be high on confidence and the purple brigade will look to continue their giant killing run. They will look to upset Pune FC and grabbed 3 points on offer. The Prayag United SC has a full squad available. Coach Eelco Schattorie has started the New Year on a high and he will look to continue to add some more victory under his belt. The Costar Rican Carlos Hernandez and Lal Kamal Bhowmick were instrumental in the victory over Dempo and along with Ranty Martins will pose a big threat for Pune FC. The Nigerian hit-man will look to add more goals to his tally

Pune FC, the dark horse of the league are in second position in the league table. The Pune based side has been exceptional, they played as a team and that has been their success mantra. The defence looks strong and midfield has enough in them to feed strikers the ball. The Pune based side face will look to win this match and put pressure on league leader Churchill brother. James Moga will be the man to watch as  the striker has been in great form so far for the club.

Santosh Kashyap Magic To Continue.

Santosh Kashyap – The Man at Helm

The Santosh Kashyap magic has worked for the ONGC and the club has started to play well. The team has produced some surprise results in the league. The team has developed Delhi as their fortress. Many top clubs have struggled against the ONGC in Delhi. The team will look to continue their good run and stop the strong east Bengal side. The Liberian striker Eric brown will not be available for the ONGC who received red card against the Paillan Arrows. Japanese play-maker Katsuni Yusa will look to create some in-rods in the East Bengal defense.

After an impressive start to the league the East Bengal has found themselves in bit of a tumble. The team problem has been a lack of goals. The team has created lots of chances but lacked the finishing touch. But red and brigade  impressive victory against Salgaocar will give them much needed confidence. The team is strong enough to win against ONGC but they will have to be careful going into the match.

Can Paillan Arrows Stop Churchill Brothers??

The red machines are in rampaging form. The club has scored more goals than any other club in the league. Churchill brothers after their thumping victory over shilling Logan climbed the top of the table. The red machines will look to continue their blistering form going into the match against plain arrows. There are no injury worries for the club going into this match.  The quality in the foreigners in the clubs has made a difference to the club. The club will look to extend their lead at the top of the table and make it difficult for the other title contenders to cut them.

The AIFF development side has continued to struggle after a decent start to the league. They have failed to win a match in the last four rounds and have conceded 11 goals. Arthur Papas boys will have to face strong Churchill brother’s side which will be like a mountain to climb. Arrows defense has to be on their toes to stop the Churchill attack. Alwyn George’s  form is a bit of concern for the team. He will have to step up and perform in the match.


Air India 1 – 1 Salgaocar FC

Sporting Clube De Goa 2 – 1 Shillon Lajong

United Sikkim FC 0 – 2 Mumbai FC

Prayag United 1 – 1 Pune Fc

ONGC FC 0 – 2 East Bengal

Churchill Brothers 2 – 1 Paillan Arrows