The only unbeaten side in the ongoing season (2013-14), Pune FC enjoyed an extended break following their 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers. The newcomers, in contrast, have been on the road and will have to cope with the loss they suffered to Sporting Club last time around.
Spearheaded by experienced coach Santosh Kashyap, Rangdajied have a host of ex-Pune FC players in their midst to provide for an interesting match under lights.
Rangdajied Coach Santosh Kashyap is quite familiar with the surroundings after having coached Air India FC based out of Pune in the past. He would be hoping to use his experience at Balewadi to help his team adapt.
The visitors have retained the services of the majority of the players who helped them win the I-League second division last year - namely keeper Surjay Pariyar, defenders Poibang Poshna, Thomas Saikhom, playmakers Bhola Prasad, Abocha Singh and Korean attacker Shin Ho Jun while bringing in defenders Pratik Chaudhari and Munmun Lugun among others.
Both sides have players in their ranks who have played for the opposite team. Rangdajied trio of Brazilian striker Edmar Figueira, Senegalese defender Lamine Tamba and local Pune lad and target man Sandesh Gadkari will be up against their former side.
Other ex-Pune FC players in the Rangdajied roster are goalkeeper Shambhu Mistry, who played for the hosts in the 2nd Division and winger David Lalbiakzara, a former academy graduate.
On the other hand, Pune FC defender Zohmingliana Ralte plied his trade for Ar-Hima in 2007-08 (as Rangdajied used to be known earlier) before moving across to city rivals Lajong.
The visitors might be missing the services of captain and playmaker Eugeneson Lyngdoh, along with midfielder Restomwell Khriam and Japanese winger Yohei Iwasaki.
In contrast, Pune FC have a full squad available for selection with no injuries or suspensions to deal with.
--IANS (Posted on 26-10-2013)