I-L: Pune FC look to start afresh against United SC

Kalyani, Dec 14 : Pune FC will seek a change in fortune when they take on United SC in an I-League round-15 encounter at the at the Municipal Stadium in Kalyani on Sunday.

Having hit a roadblock in their winning momentum since the past five rounds, Pune FC hope to draw maximum motivation from their past encounters in Kolkata.

Earlier this year, the City of Joy turned delightful for Pune FC after downing Mohammedan Sporting.

Similarly, memories of the win against Mohun Bagan in the away-game sign-off run last season are reasons for a positive mind in testing times.

The game revolves around two major factors; form and improving position on the league table with both Pune FC (19 points) and United SC (6th, 18 points) looking at third place if they extract full points. Currently, Pune FC is 5th and one slot above the hosts.

Form wise, both teams haven't had the best run to boast. Pune FC, with 2 losses (1-2 v/s Mumbai FC, at Pune and 2-3 v/s Rangdajied United, in Shillong) have gained just three points in last five games.

United SC, on the other hand, has had their own problems failing to find the net in the last two games. After going down 4-0 to Mohun Bagan, they were held to a goalless draw by Dempo SC at the Salt Lake Stadium.

However, the hosts welcome back skipper and right-back Deepak Mondal along with local boy Lalkamal Bhowmick (returning from a long injury lay off), both who missed the game in Pune.

Although not up to full fitness, Bhowmick along with Souvik Chakrabarti would be looking to drive the team forward providing supply to the likes of Ranti Martins, Eric Brown, C.K. Vineeth and Mohammed Rafique in the attack.

With few players returning from injuries, the hosts however, have seen another goalkeeper Ishan Debnath suffer a blow. Ishan - filling in for first choice custodian Sangram Mukherjee, who too is out injured - suffered a shin fracture against Mohun Bagan.

United SC, thus, has called in the services of the inexperienced local-goalkeeper Abhijit Das, who has managed to keep a clean sheet against Dempo SC.

Pune FC, meanwhile miss the services of winger Nikhil Kadam who hasn't travelled with the squad for what is remains the last tour of the calendar year after suffering a knee injury in the Maha-Derby.

Also missing from action will be India-international Arata Izumi who faces a one-game suspension after picking up his fourth yellow of the season against Rangdajied. Apart from this, Coach Mike Snoei has a virtually fit 20-man squad to choose from, including the full foreign-contingent.

Over the years, both sides have met fifteen times with United SC having the upper hand boasting six wins compared to Pune FC's four. Adding up is the fact that Pune FC have never registered an I-League win in four attempts against the hosts in away games, while losing the last three consecutive games.

Thus, a win on the morrow will not only break Pune FC's forgettable away record against United SC, but will also bring their campaign back on track.

Form Run

Pune FC (5th, 19 pts): L-L-D-D-D

United SC (6th, 18 pts): D-L-D-D-W


01/12/13 - IL - Pune FC 1-1 United SC at Pune

09/01/13 - IL - United SC 2-0 Pune FC at Kalyani

22/09/12 - FEC - United SC 1-1 Pune FC at Jamshedpur

22/12/12 - IL - Pune FC 3-1 United SC at Pune

22/09/12 - FEC - United SC 1-1 Pune FC at Jamshedpur

12/02/12 - IL - Pune FC 2-1 United SC at Pune

15/11/11 - IL - United SC 5-1 Pune FC at Kolkata

21/10/11 - DC - United SC 2-0 Pune FC at New Delhi

16/03/11 - IFS - United SC 0-1 Pune FC at Kolkata

08/03/11 - IL - United SC 1-0 Pune FC at Kolkata

18/12/10 - IL - Pune FC 1-1 United SC at Pune

31/10/10 - DC - Pune FC 0-0 United SC at New Delhi

09/04/10 - IL - United SC 1-1 Pune FC at Kolkata

28/01/10 - IL - Pune FC 2-1 United SC at Pune

20/04/08 - I2D - United SC 4-2 Pune FC at Guwahati

09/04/08 - I2D - United SC 2-0 Pune FC at Pune

--IBNS (Posted on 15-12-2013)

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