Pune, Feb 25: Pune FC will should be cautious of an in-form Viva Kerala if they’re to increase their three-match unbeaten streak within the I-League.
Viva’s 7-1 dwelling win over Air India, by the way the largest margin of victory within the league, should have given them a much-needed increase forward of their spherical 16 conflict in opposition to Derrick Pereira’s boys on the Balewadi Sports activities Advanced turf right here tomorrow.
Nevertheless, an element that may be enjoying on Viva’s thoughts is their incapacity to power a win in away matches.
Of their six away matches, Viva suffered 4 defeats whereas two resulted in attracts.
Pune FC are at present in ninth place and have performed a recreation lower than Viva, mendacity 12th with 11 factors.
The house aspect can be enjoying after a 21-day break and, in keeping with Pereira, the break helped the injured gamers to recuperate.
“The interval was good for injured gamers to recuperate and the remaining to get their focus again after beginning the season early,” Pereira stated.
Pune FC are more likely to be bolstered by the return of striker Mandjou Keita, who pulled a hamstring in the course of the aspect’s final dwelling recreation, in opposition to Indian Arrows, right here.
Other than Keita, medio Ok Ajayan, who didn’t make the minimize in opposition to Mohun Bagan in Kolkata resulting from niggles, has additionally recovered.
“One can not underestimate any crew. We have to get into the match with the correct perspective and that’s, play to win,” Pereira stated.
Having overwhelmed Viva twice final season, Pune rode on Sunil Kumar’s last-gasp injury-time equaliser when Viva performed hosts.
“Viva is a younger sideg, good on the wings, and has a really organised defence. And with midfielder NP Pradeep becoming a member of them, Viva can’t be taken frivolously,” Pereira cautioned.