Zico's side are now looking over their shoulder after a poor game that has seen them lose the last match 2-0 against Mumbai City FC.
“We are in 2015 and the Stone-Rock era has passed. We lost but still we are depending on us. We are going out for victory and we are going to give everything to try to win the game. If we beat them, then again, we’ll be on the top of the table,” Zico told at Pre-match conference.
While David Platt will be on a high note after last Tuesdays 3-2 win over Kerala Blasters FC. FC Pune City has won five of their last six matches. Their only loss came against Chennaiyin FC.
“I never said that my tactics would change. I said that we analyze the opposition and see what their strengths are. And then we go from there. A large percentage of what we are about is to concentrate on one principle that we worked on in pre-season,“ the Englishman explained when asked about his tactics against the Goans.
FC Goa now sit fourth in the table, just two points below the table leaders FC Pune City.
Kickoff Time and Telecast
Venue: Fatorda Stadium, Margao – Goa.
Date and Time: Friday, 30th October 2015 – 1900 IST
Live Telecast: StarSports 2 & 3, StarSports HD2 & HD3
Live Streaming: starsports.com
Injuries to key players especially in the striking department have created havoc in the FC Goa camp. FC Goa & Zico have an uphill task to field a decent playing Eleven against FC Pune City. Victor Simoes has packed his bags and has returned to Brazil while his replacement, Rafael Coelho has just arrived in the state a few hours ago. He has not yet received his ITC and will be a doubtful starter for this match.
Daryl Duffy has a hairline fracture on his shin and will be out for at least a fortnight. Joffre Gonzalez who had recovered from his injury and deemed fit to play against Mumbai City FC has seen his injury resurface in the few minutes that he played against Mumbai City. He is expected to be out for at least a week.
Keenan Almeida (Pneumonia), Victorino Fernandes (Groin), Reinaldo Oliveira & CS Sabeeth continue to be on the injured list with only Victorino having a slight chance to play in the match against FC Pune City. That leaves FC Goa with only two recognized strikers, Joquim Abranches & Hoakip, who can be expected to play their first match of the season. The only positive for FC Goa will be the return of marquee player, Lucio.
Likely XI: Laxmikant Kattimani, Luciano, Lucio, Arnolin Gregory, Narayan Das, Bikramjit Singh, Pronoy Halder, Jonathan Lucca, Leo Moura, Mandar Rao Desai, Hoakip.
FC Pune City
On the other hand, FC Pune City has an almost complete squad at their disposal with only Lenny Rodrigues on the injury list. David Platt is known to rotate his squad as he has a good team at his disposal. He is expected to do the same in the upcoming match in Goa. The only players, who are expected to start for sure, would be Steve Simonsen, Tuncay Sanli, Nickey Shorey, Didier Zokora, Gourmangi Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh.
We can see the return of Jakichand Singh on the left wing instead of Gurjinder Kumar, who was mediocre in the last game. Kalu Uche can be expected to keep his place in the starting XI after a good show in the last match. Manish Maithani and Dharmaraj Ravannan could also make return to the first team in place of Bikash Jairu and Pritam Kotal on the right wing.
Both Jairu and Kotal did not have good outing in the last match. Roger Johnson who came on as a sub in the last game will be expected to start, as Diego Colotto did not look solid at the back in the match against Kerala.
Likely XI :Steve Simonsen, Dharmaraj Ravannan, Gourmangi Singh, Roger Johnson, Nickey Shorey, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Tuncay Sanli, Didier Zokora, Kalu Uche, Manish Maithani, Jakichand Singh.
Leo Moura vs Didier Zokora
Didier Zokora has been solid in the Pune midfield, playing his role of defensive midfielder meticulously. He has started in all matches except one and Pune ended up losing that match. He has not been flamboyant in his play but has gone about his job of destroying opposition moves with ease. His physical presence and leadership quality has added another dimension to the FC Pune City game.
He will come up against Brazilian veteran, Leo Moura, at the centre of the midfield. Moura has controlled FC Goa’s gameplay till now in the absence of Jofre and will look to continue with the same. Although, with age catching up and games coming thick and fast, he has looked a bit tired and jaded in the last few matches. The tussle between these two midfielders will be a treat to watch if Moura is at his best.
Arnolin Gregory vs Tuncay Sanli
Tuncay Sanli has been the crowd’s favorite in this year’s ISL with his amazing work rate and goal scoring ability. He has been a thorn in the rival defenses and a constant threat with his pacy runs and aerial ability. The fact that he has kept marquee player Adrian Mutu on the bench says a lot about the confidence the coach has in him.
He will be up against the wall of Goa, Arnolin Gregory. His towering height and physical presence at the heart of FC Goa’s defense makes him a very difficult player to overcome. Although Gregory has been solid at the back for FC Goa and has hardly put a foot wrong till now, he lacks the pace which can be exploited by a speedy forward like Sanli.
FC Goa 1-1 FC Pune City