Balewadi Stadium, Pune
8th November, 2015, 1900 IST
In a battle for supremacy in the Indian Super League (ISL), top dogs FC Goa make a short trip to FC Pune City, to reaffirm their authority over the rest of the teams in the table.
FC Goa would feel that they are currently on top of the world, after defeating Chennaiyin FC away from home. Three wins in their last five matches is something that has set the momentum for manager Zicoa s side, and they would be looking to add one more win, to get to the safety of the semi final playoff spots. On the other hand, FC Pune City are reeling from a 2-0 defeat at the hands of bottom club Kerala Blasters FC, and would be looking to get back to their usual winning ways. However, their job would not be made easy as they face top team FC Goa.
Team news and tactical brief
FC Pune City
David Platta s side has been one of the most balanced teams in the ISL this season, with the strength of Gourmangi Singh, Roger Johnson and Tuncay Sanli, while also having the pace of Jackichand Singh, Lenny Rodrigues and Kalu Uche to burn on the wings, and up front. Also with the presence of Didier Zokora and Eugenson Lyngdoh in midfield, they have a duo that complements each other perfectly with the right blend of aggression and creativity. However, the sidea s morale would be on the lower side, considering that they have lost 2-0 to bottom strugglers Kerala Blasters FC in their last match. While such a loss could do some damage to the morale of the side, would be interesting to see if Platt can inspire them to get back to their normal high standards, agaisnt FC Goa.
FC Pune City Probable Starting XI (4-4-2): Simonsen; Shorey, Gourmangi, Johnson, Ravanan; Jackichand, Zokora, Lyngdoh, Lenny; Tuncay, Uche.
Zico has shown that he is a pragmatic man, by opting to go for five men in defence, in his last couple of matches. Although he has emphacised that he always wants his teams to attack, Zico did say that at this stage of the season, it would be more beneficial for the teams to look for points instead of wins.The presence of the experienced Lucio is sure to strengthen the FC Goa defence. However, the most potent threat that FC Pune City would face, is that from another Brazilian a Leonardo Moura. Moura has been nothing short of brilliant for the Goan outfit, and has been the chief creative influence for them. Playing from central midfield, it would be important for FC Goa to let Moura feed their forwards. He is also no slouch when it comes to taking his opportunities front of goal, and could be the difference in the match.
FC Goa Probable Starting XI (5-3-2): Kattimani; Desai, Sobrosa, Lucio, Gregory, Gaikwad; Lucca, Moura, Bikramjit; Haokip, Coelho.
FC Pune City 2-1 FC Goa
FC Goa might be playing five men at the back, but three centhalves often find it difficult against a two-striker setup that FC Pune City has. Both Tuncay and Uche are on song and could find gaps in the defence to go on and win the game, and take the top spot on the ISL table.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media Team