FC Goa face tough challenge from FC Pune City in third home game
The Gaurs go into their third home game of the season perched on top of the Hero Indian Super League table. With games in hand over their nearest rivals, the club can take a healthy lead in the standings with victory over the Stallions who have had mixed results so far in the league, winning three and losing the same number of matches so far.
Skipper Laxmikant Kattimani put in a much improved performance in the Gaurs’ previous encounter in Delhi and made a number of saves to keep his side in the game. He will continue in goal against Pune City FC. Consistency in team selection has been the key for Sergio Lobera so far and he will be looking to field a similar team that took the field in Delhi. The central defensive partnership of Bruno Pinheiro and Ali Mohamed will most likely be given the nod ahead of Chinglensana Singh and Sergio Juste. Seriton Fernandes has been a bright spark for the Goan side and he will start the game on the right side of the defence along with Narayan Das on the left.
FC Goa have won a number of battles in midfield and that is mainly down to the duo of Edu Bedia and Ahmed Jahouh who have dominated games for the Gaurs. Jahouh has completed the most number of passes in the entire league and Edu’s forward bursts have provided the team with impetus. Manuel Lanzarote is the creator in chief for Sergio Lobera and that is evident from his contribution to the side. He has scored five goals and provided three assists in five games, taking him to third on the Golden Boot standings.
He will start in the attacking midfield position and will be flanked by the Goan duo of Mandar Rao Dessai and Brandon Fernandes who have also been instrumental in helping the team to the top of the standings. Top scorer Ferran ‘Coro’ Corominas picked up a knock in Delhi and it will be interesting to see whether he will get the nod up front ahead of Adrian Colunga who came on for the former Espanyol man and got on the scoresheet as well.
The Stallions will bring with them a well-balanced squad, full of attacking threat. Marcelinho topped the scoring charts in the last season with Delhi Dynamos FC but is yet to hit the ground running in this season, having scored just twice and providing three assists. Uruguayan striker Emiliano Alfaro is a dangerous customer in front of goal and will be looking to get back to scoring goals after failing to hit the back of the net in his last three games. It promises to be an exciting encounter as both teams will receive a massive boost with victory.