Round 7 : Redemption time for some , new hope for others.

Round 7 starts off with a Tuesday game of EAST BENGAL ( WDDWLW..) hosting Shillong Lajong FC (DLWW..) in the Televised 7pm game.
Both teams coming off a win in their last games , the Kolkata giants huffed & puffed to a comfortable 2nil win , which turned out to be the death knell for Aizwal coach Manuel Retemaro. The presence of Bernard Mendy has taken some pressure off the shoulders of Ranty Martins but seems to have unsettled a petulant Do-Dong.
Even without the pace winger, KEB have enough in their squad to put out a strong team in a 4-4-2 formation to cause Lajong's young back 4 a lot of problems.
The Brazilian duo of Uilliams Souza & Fabio have both scored in their recent wins, and are starting to find some chemistry between them.
Penn Orji will have a point to prove against his former employers, and the midfield battles will hold key to this game. Lajong wingers have the pace to cause problems for the East Bengal defence,  but it's whether they can handle the big game pressure.

East Bengal have kept 3 clean sheets in 6 games, something which will hold them in good stead, as they strive to make a genuine challenge for the title.
If Thangboi Singto can script an unlikely win or even scrape a draw, the knives will be sharpened against Biswajit Da

The next day will see the Battle of the Direct entry teams as Bengaluru FC ( WWWLWL) host DSK Shivajians (DLLLW) at 7pm at Sree Kanteerava.
Derrick Pereira has never managed win against Ashley Westwood in the League, but there is no better time to play the Blues. Smarting from a shock defeat to 10men Sporting, the Pune boys are fresh from their maiden victory. DSK's problems have been the lack of goals, they managed 1 in the last game , and managed to hold onto that > with their misfiring "captain " Perrcik Dipanda out with an ankle injury , they might have to persist with the old war horse Mohd. Rafi , as chubby Baljit Sahni is yet to show the staff that he is fit to last 90mins.
Expect them to line up with a 4-5-1 formation in an attempt to frustrate BFC and try to hit them on the counter attack.
The Blues meanwhile are clearly missing Euegenson Lyngdoh, as his composure on the ball, and goals/assist helped them maintain a title challenge last year. The jury is still out on Michael Collins , and cracks also are beginning to appear in the normally reliable BFC wall of Johnson & Osano.
8 goals in 6 games is certainly not Championship form , the captain & Kim Yong Song will have to step up to provide CK Vineeth with more support in the absence of Udanta Singh.
Don't expect many goals in this game , could be settled by a set piece or some referee decision.
The same evening will see Mumbai FC (DDWWL) host Mohun Bagan (WWDW) at Cooperage. This will be an acid test for both teams. Khalid Jamil's men would've been read the riot act for failing to take care of business against DSK in Pune. With just 2 days between games, Mumbai FC will be forced to make some changes  , none more crucial than finding a replacement for the injured Taisuke Matsugane. Their talismanic skipper was off with a muscle pull that could see him miss a month of action, music to the ears of Sanjoy Sen , who will be looking for all the help he can get after being dealt a bad hand by the AIFF and AFC schedule. They need to pick up points asap, or the games in hand will turn out to be a poisoned chalice once the AFC picture pile up begins.
The free scoring Mariners need to tighten up at the back , as going a goal down to the Mumbaikars could see the return of the ghost from Balewadi

A win here and following it up with 3 points in Bangalore 3 days later, will see them in pole position for the title.


the last match of the round see's a resurgent Sporting Clube de Goa (LDWLW) play host to Salgaocar(LLLLD) in a crucial GOAN Derby.
Expect this game to be played out in drab atmosphere with no crowds at Fatorda.
Santosh Kashyap will persist with his 3-4-3 (5-2-3 ) as he hopes his kamikaze formation from Royal Wahingdoh days will work with his new wards. The talismanic Duffy will once again be expected to provide the goals, and hope he gets more support from the unreliable Seityasen & Jackiechand. The defence has been boosted by the help of the Brazilian acquisition , but the full backs & goalkeeper are still prone to 1 or 2 clangers each game.
SCdeGoa look stronger with 10men versus BFC , and the midfield of Amna , Theobold & Denson is a match for any team in the league.. 
The weak links of Fulganco & Clemente will be tested by the 2 Manipuri's of the greens , & the suspension of Dharmaraj Ravanan will most likely open the door up for Mehraj Wadoo . Whilst this could make them susceptible at the back , they should have enough going forward to win this game.




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