Shree Shiv Sports Complex, Pune
30th October 2014, 19:00 IST
FC Pune City take on a Kerala Blasters side, running low on form and morale. While FC Pune City bagged their first victory in the Super League against Zico’s FC Goa, Kerala Blasters held league leaders Atletico de Kolkata to a 1-1 draw. Sitting seventh, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned franchisee would be looking to bag their first win of the season. FC Pune City themselves, would be looking to impress critics and deliver a decent home performance, which could take them to fourth leapfrogging Delhi Dynamos, if they are to win this fixture.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
FC Pune City
Although winning 2-0 against FC Goa, FC Pune City were complacent in parts of the game, however the major positive was newly found chemistry budding within the team. FC Pune City are moreover expected to lineup in the same way as they did against FC Goa.
Goal Keeper Emanuelle Belardi, who has been decent so far is expected to start as the, guardian between the two sticks. Bruno Cirillo and Ravanan are expected to start as the Central defensive pairing, while Sarkar and Magliocchetti are expected to provide width operating in the wingback region. A switch between Magliocchetti and Ravanan, could be expected as both players can operate in Central as well as wide positions.
Israil Gurung who was deployed as a right winger is expected to start in the position in which he flourished best. The 25 year old is expected to bombard down the Right flank and provide crosses for Trezeguet to capitalize on. Kostas and Lenny are expected to govern play from the midfield region, as both the players have a penchant for distributing play. With Trezeguet and Bolado upfront, FC Pune City are expected to press higher up the field and could revert to a three men defense , come the latter parts of the game.
Probable Starting XI: Belardi, Sarkar, Ravanan, Cirillo, Magliocchetti, Mehta, Lenny, Kostas, Gurung, Trezeguet, Bolado
Formation: 4-4-2 which could revert to a 3-5-2
Although an inaugural win still eludes the David James captained side, there were a lot of positives in their previous match against league leaders Atletico de Kolkata.
While David James starts in goal, Sandesh Jhinghan is expected to play as a makeshift left back , again. Sandesh, has been outstanding in the crumbling Kerala defense and will look to bag more praise, whilst pocketing FC Pune City’s Ashutosh Mehta. Gurwinder who was played in midfield in Kerala’s previous endeavors, is expected to drop back and operate as a Center Back, a position more suitable to the East Bengal man.
Mehtab is expected to sit deep and provide covering, while Orji will be deployed as a box to box midfielder, linking play while tracing opponents back. Both Romey and Pearson are operate wide and provide support to Penn Orji. The attacking duo of Milagres and Iain Hume are once again expected to start, as both of them displayed signs of budding chemistry in their previous fixture against Atletico de Kolkata.
Although, Kerala Blasters does not boast prolific players such as David Trezeguet, the Blasters will look to stun the hosts, and perhaps a first maiden victory might be on the cards.
Probable Starting XI: James, Nirmal, Gurwinder, Hengbart, Sandesh, Romey, Mehtab, Orji, Pearson, Milagres, Hume
Formation : 4-4-2 which could operate as a 4-1-3-2
FC Pune City 1 – Kerala Blasters 0
Although FC Pune City flaunt David Trezeguet, the Hritik Roshan co-owned side is toothless in attack. The crumbling defense of Kerala Blasters are once again expected to leak goals. TheHardTackle predicts a closely fought encounter, with the hosts stealing all three points.