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

Dempo SC face Mumbai FC challenge

Arthur Papas

Arthur Papas

Dempo SC will be looking for their ninth win of the season and a possibility to climb further up in the table when they host Mumbai FC in an I-League encounter at the Fatorda Stadium, Margao on Saturday.

Going into the match, the Golden Eagles will be inspired by last week’s 4-1 victory over local rivals Churchill Brothers SC. Striker Tolgay Ozbey, who scored four goals in the last match, will be looked upon for motivation by his side. Dempo are currently placed 4th in the table with 31 points from 21 matches while Mumbai FC are 10th with 24 points from an equal number of matches.

Even after winning five I-League matches out of six in 2014, Dempo coach Arthur Papas shows why his team needs to be non-complacent against the lower placed Mumbai team.

“They are a tricky team to come up against, they defend quite deep and depend a lot on their transition to attack and set-pieces, also they are team which has street smarts and try to make an advantage in every situation. This is why we must be 100% concentrated and focused to negate their threats and to also keep playing the positive football we have been doing of late,” affirms the Australian coach.

Although the odds are in favour of the home team as Mumbai FC is yet to win a match against them at Fatorda in I-League, the Mumbaikar’s will be arriving fresh from their away win against Shillong Lajong FC and a draw against East Bengal Club in the earlier round. “Mumbai FC has shown all year they are a very competitive team and proving that again by defeating Shilong last week which not many in the league have been able to do. All week we have spoken about how tricky a fixture this could be if we are not at 100% in every part of the game,” said Arthur Papas.

There are no injury worries for Dempo and they will have their full squad available for the match. “We will have close to a full squad available to choose from so the competition for places is positive, as it ensures everyone is training and preparing correctly in order to gain a starting position,” summed up the head coach.

The kick off time is at 18.00 IST.