Pune: Pune FC would look to build on their impressive home record when they host Dempo SC in an I-League Round-6 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi tomorrow. The clash will be an important one for league leaders Pune FC (10 points) who will look to get a positive result after a narrow 0-1 away loss to Mohun Bagan in the previous round.
With three back-to-back home games line up this month, the game against Dempo will have added importance as Pune FC hope to make the most of the home advantage. Going into the game, Pune FC will be confident with the past record between the two sides favouring them. For the record, Pune FC has logged six wins compared to Dempo’s three in 12 encounters so far.
Nonetheless, the clash against Dempo will not be an easy one given the fact that they are one of only two teams who are still unbeaten in the current league campaign. “Dempo SC are a strong side. They have recruited top young Indian talent and the experienced foreigners in their line-up make them even stronger. The game tomorrow will be a tough one and we need to be at our best,” said Pune FC head coach Karim Bencherifa after team training session.
Despite boasting the best attack in the league (12 goals), the Pune FC frontline led by Thongkhosiem Haokip, Darko Nikac and Ryuji Sueoka will have their task cut out as they come up against the Dempo defense marshalled by Haroon Amiri and Nirmal Chhetri which has just conceded one goal in four matches.
On the other hand, Dempo come into the game after a 1-1 draw against Royal Wahingdoh in Shillong. The draw followed a 3-0 win over Sporting Goa at home after playing goalless draws in their opening two games. Despite being unbeaten in the league so far, Dempo have only scored four goals and will be banking on the attacking trio of Tolgay Ozbey, Carlos Hernandes and Alwyn George to fire up front.
Joining them will be the likes of Francis Fernandes, Germanpreet Singh and Clifford Miranda who will provide options in the attack as midfielder Lenny Rodrigues is expected to pull strings from the midfield.