Having got off to a poor start, FC Pune City will seek a revival of fortunes when it hosts fourth-placed FC Goa in the Indian Super League on Tuesday.
Pune City comes into the tie high on momentum after securing a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters in its previous tie. Goa, on the other hand, played out a 0-0 draw against ATK and has has a 12-day break since.
“FC Goa were top scorers last season and the way they are set up to play, they score a lot of goals. They are an attacking team. We've to deal with their threat and at the same time, we have to pose a threat. Sometimes putting the other team on the backfoot is the best way to defend,” said Pune interim coach Pradyum Reddy.
Reddy saw how dangerous FC Goa can be from close quarters, when his side received a 4-2 mauling at Fatorda in his first game as interim manager.
Pune City will have to be wary of the rampaging Gaurs, particularly since its defence isn’t the tightest. The side has faced the most shots on goal (197) and has managed to keep only one clean sheet. And both of the side's left-backs unavailable, with Sahil Panwar suspended and Lalchhuanmawia ruled out due to illness.
The side's attacking line has also failed to fire so far. Marcelinho, who scored the match winner against Kerala, has only two strikes to his name and is enduring his poorest season by far in the ISL.
-Back to winning ways-
FC Goa's assistant coach, Jesus Tato, hoped that a break of 12 days between games would not affect his side's performance. “We haven't played for quite a while and for us, it is about getting back to our (winning) ways,” he said.
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Despite having played nine matches, which is at least one game less than all the other teams, FC Goa is still in the top four with 17 points. The side will be boosted by the fact that Hugo Boumous and Mohamed Ali, who were suspended, are back in contention for a place in the starting line-up.