Goa [India]: Ranko Popovic’s FC Pune City will aim to put their best foot forward to stop high-flying FC Goa in the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) clash at Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
There is a lot riding on this game for both sides. On one hand, a win for Goa could see them open up a three-point lead at the top of the standings.
While on the other hand, a victory for Pune here will enable the team to reach 12 points, thereby equalling three other joint-toppers currently shared by Chennaiyin, Bengaluru and Goa.
As it stands, Sergio Lobera’s FC Goa side is currently tied on 12 points with Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC at the top of the ISL table.
However, FC Goa has played just five games incontrast to Bengaluru’s seven and Chennaiyin’s six. A win over Pune will allow them to become sole leaders.
“Offence is our strong suit and we’ll stick to it,” says Lobera, under whom FC Goa has been in a tremendous goal-scoring form. The Goan side has picked up 12 of the 15 points on offer thus far with 18 goals scored.
The only criticism faced by Lobera’s team is about its defensive fragility. The Goan side is yet to keep a clean sheet this season and Lobera knows the importance of a perfect defensive display. “It is important to get the defensive balance right. Obviously, we are working on it. Keeping that in mind we have to keep doing what we are doing and improve as a team,” he said.
Commenting on the fitness of star striker Ferran Corominas and Ahmed Johouh, the Goan coach said, “They are fit to play for the tomorrow’s game. They are 100 per cent and that’s why they are there.”
But despite FC Goa’s spectacular form, Pune City coach Ranko Popovic has set his sights on keeping a clean sheet against the home side. “We are playing against the most offensive team in the league. But for us, we are looking to keep a clean sheet and score some goals at other end and to do that we need to be offensive. It will be nice to play in front of the passionate football supporters in Goa,” said the Serbian tactician.
Pune City will be without Baljit Sahni after the forward was sent off against Bengaluru FC.(ANI)