Preview: Bengaluru FC take on Dempo FC in crucial I-League tie
Bengaluru FC will chase a win against Dempo to keep them in the race for the I-League title.
Fatorda, May 22 (IANS): Aiming to regain the top spot, second-placed Bengaluru FC take on hosts Dempo SC in a crucial I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
Defending champions Bengaluru now have 35 points from 18 games, having won ten and lost three. Whereas Dempo are placed in the points table in ninth spot with 18 points from 18 games, with three wins and six loses.
A win against Dempo will help the visitors climb to top of the I-League standings, which is currently being occupied by Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan.
The two sides earlier met in the first leg of the tournament on January 17, where they played out a goalless draw.
With three wins from the last five matches, Bengaluru will be high on confidence to make the Saturday's match count and take a step ahead towards retaining the I-League title.
Whereas, home side Dempo with just one win from last five matches will go into the match keeping in mind to give their best as they have nothing to lose at this stage of the tournament.
Bengaluru come into the game on the back of a 3-1 win over Salgaocar FC on May 17, whereas Salgaocar FC held Dempo on a goalless draw match on May 20.
Dempo who has failed to impress this season will be depending heavily for their strike front of Holicharan Narzary, Alwyn George and Francis Fernandes to fire.
While Bengaluru will depend on their 18-year-old striker Udanta Singh, experienced midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, England's Joshua Walker, besides key players such as Sunil Chhetri, forwards Sean Rooney and Robin Singh.
Defenders John Johnson and Curtis Osano, who all played critical roles last season's title triumph will also define Bengaluru’s season this time around.
With the league reaching its business end, every point and goal will be vital. Bengaluru, in just their second season after clinching the trophy on their debut last year besides winning the Federation Cup, will be willing to reach their peak at this crucial juncture.