Margao, Oct 21: Four times Champions, Dempo SC will be looking to kick start their I-League campaign on a positive note when they take on defending Champions Salgaocar tomorrow at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda here.
Dempo, which lost their playmaker Beto to Churchill Brothers did not get the right start this season as they bowed out of the Federation Cup losing to East Bengal on account of a controversial goal which saw them skip the Durand Cup.
Coach Armando Colaco who returned to the club after being the interim coach of Indian football is the longest coach among the 14 teams who will be guiding his team to win the prestigious Championships which they won in 2008.
"We are going as a underdog as we haven't got the right start we wanted and the players are rusty and need to play couple of matches before they settle down. We have never got a good start in the past and will be looking for a win tomorrow to get their early momentum going," stated Colaco.
"Every team in the I-League is playing for the title. I always want to prevent ourselves from relegation first and then we take each game at a time."
"On the other hand, Salgaocar started the season brightly winning the Federation Cup which have lifted their morale. We have to play to our potential for a win," summed up Colaco.
Dempo will lack the creativity in the midfield in the absence of Beto before it new comer Densill Tabaldo from Trinidad and Tabacco settles down with the team.
Ranty Martins along with koko Saikibo will lead from the front and will be ably supported by Climax Lawerence, Clifford Lawerence, Anthony Pereira and Densill Theobald from Trinidad and Tobacco from behind.
In the defence, Cresent Antao or Rowilson Rodrigues will assist Mahesh Gawli in the central defence alongwith Debabrata Roy and Sameer Naik on the wings.
Salgaocar, who started their new season with a bang winning the Federation Cup beating East Bengal 3-1 in the finals, lost the momentum as they bowed out of the Durand Cup lossing to Prayag United in the the semi-finals and also to East Bengal in the Super Cup.
In the Pro-League they drew against lowly placed Margao SC and Vasco. But that will not bother coach Bencherifa who will be looking to start well.
There is no injury worry as all their players are fit and coach will be relying on the team strength. Chidi who played outstandingly in the Federation Cup is their key man upfront along with Ryuji Sueoka.
They have a good midfield to support them with Francis Fernandes and Gilbert Oliveira playing well on the flanks.
Also, Ishfaq Ahmed and Mehrayuddin Wadoo will be backing them up. Luciano Sabrosa who has played a stellar role in the defence will hold the forte along with Jaspal Parmar, Khelembo Meetei and Rahul Kumar.
Karanjit Singh who has been outstanding under the bar will be their key match. PTI