THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Dempo SC take on relegation threatened Mohammedan Sporting

Tolgay Ozbey

Tolgay Ozbey

Dempo SC will take on an relegation threatened Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in a Round 22 match of the I-League on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles will enter into the match knowing that only a win will get their quest for a top five finish back on track as they take on the Kolkata outfit who are struggling with their performances. Dempo have been brilliant since the new year and have won their previous three games in the league until the reversal against Salgaocar on Wednesday pegged them back.

But Arthur Papas’ side, strengthened by the return of Simon Colosimo in defense and Clifford Miranda in midfield, would look to overcome the challenge of Mohammedan Sporting who have won just one of their last five matches.

A win for Dempo will take move them up to fifth in the table ahead of Shillong Lajong who face table toppers Bengaluru FC the following day.

The return of Simon Colosimo and Clifford Miranda would enable coach Arthur Papas to field his best possible line up on Saturday. Roberto Mendes Silva and Pronay Halder would continue to partner in midfield in the absence of Peter Carvalho who is still out with a calf injury. Simon Colosimo will return to the starting eleven at the expense of Selwyn Fernandes after serving his suspension, while captain Clifford Miranda too will make a return to the team in place of Sanju Pradhan or Romeo Fernandes.

Meanwhile, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has written to Dempo SC allowing the fielding of striker Tolgay Ozbey against Mohammedan Sporting. Tolgay, who was earlier with Mohammedan Sporting had a clause in his exit contract which disallowed him to play against Mohammedan Sporting in the current season. However, after intervention of AIFF in the above matter it was decided by the apex body to allow Tolgay Ozbey to play against his former employers.

Mohammedan currently sit second last in the table, three points ahead of bottom placed Churchill Brothers, but have played a game more than the Goan side. A reversal against Dempo would put them in a precarious position should Churchill win their matchs in hand.

The Black Panthers have signed Japanese Taro Hasegawa, in place of Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey and will once again look to him and Brazilian Josimar da Silva Martins to score the goals. The defense of Luciano Sabrosa and Mehrajuddin Wadoo will have to be cautious against the Dempo strike force who have been on a roll scoring seven goals in their last four games.