FC Goa will be hosting FC Pune City in match no. 23 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Friday.
This will be a crunch game for the hosts as they would want to re-claim the top spot in the points table now being held by FC Pune City.
If Zico's men in blue want to outclass the high-flying FC Pune City, then they will have to be at their very best on Friday.
Zico did not deploy the likes of Mandar Rao Dessai and Romeo Fernandes in the first half of their last game against Mumbai City FC and that cost them the match. The Gaurs are desperate to register a victory against David Platt and his men in orange and blue stripes and thus Zico would not want to repeat similar mistakes.
Let us have a look at some of the key players
FC Goa -- Mandar Rao Dessai: Cometh the hour, cometh the man! The Gaurs will want him to fire in this crunch encounter against FC Pune City. He came in way too late against Mumbai City FC and was unable to pull his side back into the game. This time he should feature in the playing XI and can easily make a difference in a high-voltage game.
Romeo Fernandes: This young lad too did not get much of play time against Mumbai City FC but we could see glimpses of those deadly runs down the wings. Zico would want to deploy him early in the game and cause some problems for the Pune defenders. Romeo will definitely be one of the crucial players for the hosts on Friday.
Gregory Arnolin: This French defender has a lot of pressure on him as the big Brazilian Lucio is injured and might not feature alongside him in their clash against FC Pune City. He has been very strong defensively and it is very difficult to snatch the ball from him. He will have to hold the defensive line together and will have to clear those delicious crosses from either of the wings that the FC Pune City wingers are expected to come up with.
FC Pune City -- Nicky Shorey: The former Newcastke United Englishman has been at his very best in this season of the ISL. In their last match against Kerala Blasters, Shorey provided three assists for which he was adjudged the hero of the match. He always manages to find the desired player with his crosses and through balls. He is one heck of a difficult customer when it comes to playing down the wings.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Jackichand Singh: Both are equally dangerous in the midfield. Lyngdoh likes to control the ball in the midfield alongside Didier Zokora and Jackichand likes to run down the wings and supply the forwards with some delicious crosses from which they can head the ball into the back of the net. FC Goa defenders will have to watch out for these two Indian stars.
Tuncay Sanli: The former Turkish international has been very effective in and around the penalty box area. He is extremely good when it comes to winning an aerial duel. He has scored most of his goals from headers and FC Pune City too has scored a lot of goals in ISL 2015 from headers. The Gaur defenders will have to be wary of Sanli and Co.