The Gaurs vs. Super Machans Preview

How Low the Mighty Have Fallen

The two worst teams in the league will face off against each other as the Super Machans travel to The Gaurs’ home ground, Fatorda, Goa. Both Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa have effectively been pushed out of contention for the four playoff spots by their recent results.

Their respective third Indian Super League has been in direct contrast to how they performed in the previous season. The Super Machans and The Gaurs actually played the final last year, which was won by Chennaiyin FC. This time out, however, neither team has managed to replicate their form from the last season.

The Gaurs’ Form & Strategy

rafael-coelho-fc-goaFC Goa, especially, has been woeful and their statistics paint the clearest picture of how poor they’ve been. They’ve conceded the most goals as well as scored the least number of goals in the league till now. Naturally, this has given them the worst goal difference in the league too.

However, what will be even more disconcerting for Zico and The Gaurs is that they now have the ignominious record of being the team that has lost the most in a season in the history of Indian Super League. In a nutshell, The Gaurs’ morale is shot and they have nothing to play for, except pride.

In the third season of the Indian Super League, The Gaurs don’t even have the proverbial silver lining to their thunderous cloud. Two FC Goa players that stand out of the group are Rafael Coelho Luiz and Laxmikanth Kattimani. The striker because of his hardworking nature and the goalkeeper because he has the second most saves in the entire league.

You still have to commend Zico’s persistence because the Brazilian manager is still tinkering with his side, in an effort to find the right combination. You can view this as desperation to fix things or as the reason for all their failings. At the end of it all, though, FC Goa has nothing to look forward to in their last game against the Super Machans.

The Super Machans Form & Strategy

raphael augusto, super machansSuper Machans, themselves, are only slightly better off than The Gaurs. They’re better off because they find themselves out of contention for playoffs by the courtesy of a number of late goals. In fact, till the last game, they were in with a good shout for the fourth spot.

Unfortunately, they conceded a goal in the 95th minute and ended up drawing the game against NorthEast United FC. That draw meant that the Super Machans have now only won 1 game in 9 games! To be fair to them, that run includes five draws which means that they’ve only lost 3 times in 9 games.

Defence has been a problem for the Super Machans in this season. They’ve conceded the second most number of goals in this league and are only behind Goa by one goal.

Mathematically, the Super Machans can still make it to the fourth spot. After all, they’re only off by 3 points. The problem is that they have only one game left to play while their rivals have two and their goal difference is atrocious when compared to their rivals. The Super Machans will have to deliver a historic thumping to The Gaurs to have any chance of making it. This means a 4 to 6 goal win!

With the draw between Atletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters FC, there is no way that the Super Machans can make into the semis now. Since it was only a single win or the goal difference that is keeping draw between ATK and KBFC that kept the Super Machans out of the playoff spots, it can be said that they haven’t played that bad this season. Just a bit of luck in a few matches would’ve seen them nearer the fourth spot in the table.

They will look to sign off on this season with a big win simply because Materazzi is a proud and optimistic man. We expect Chennaiyin FC to turn up with an attacking 4-3-3 formation. They will look to feed a lot of balls to their in-form striker Macpherlin Dudu Omagbemi, who scored a hat-trick in the last game.

However, there is no player they will rely more on than Raphael Augusto. Augusto is the leading passer and has the second-most tackles in the league. Moreover, he is the main creative force for the Super Machans with team-leading 4 assists to his name. In defence, they have Karanjit Singh, the man with most clean sheets in the league.

Bad or Worse?

This game will find The Gaurs incredibly demoralised. In contrast, Materazzi will have his players revved up. Furthermore, nothing is going right for FC Goa this season. This lethal combination will see Zico’s team being on the end of a mauling.

For us, this is a certified win for the Super Machans. We expect them to beat their last season’s fellow finalists by 3 – 1. We also think that Dudu will be on the score sheet and that Augusto will dominate the midfield yet again.


The Gaurs vs. The Pride Preview

Will The Gaurs Continue to Implode Against The Pride?

Things could turn especially sour for FC Goa as Delhi Dynamos FC come visiting the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. The game is set to turn into a midfield battle since both The Gaurs’ and The Pride’s styles of play hinge heavily on their passing game.

The Gaurs Form & Strategy

trindade-goncalves, The GaursFC Goa’s 2016 Indian Super League results have been in direct contrast to their results in the 2015 Indian Super League where they went all the way to the Finals. It is notable; however, that FC Goa’s performance in this season so far, is similar to their 2014 season. The Gaur’s started the 2014 season just like this one i.e. with four losses from the first six games. In that season, they went on to play in the Semi Finals so it wouldn’t be all that surprising if they pull off the same feat this time out.

The problem for The Gaurs, though, is that they’ve shown nothing that can hint at a resurgent future. They lost their last game to Kerala Blasters FC despite taking the lead. What’s even worse is that all is not well inside the FC Goa camp. There have been suggestions of a discord between their head coach, Zico, and the senior management regarding recruitment.

They Gaurs’ Zico has claimed that he wasn’t consulted on the recruitment of their goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury. Furthermore, Zico apparently wasn’t informed of the Indian Super League recruitment deadlines which resulted in the team failing to recruit a couple of key players. This doesn’t bode well for the future of FC Goa in this season.

The Gaurs may be without Joffre too, their most consistent performer of the season so far. Joffre has been their primary creative force which means that FC Goa may have trouble creating enough chances. In his absence, they will rely on Trindade Goncalves for creativity since he is their team’s leading passer whether you consider attempted or successful passes.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of their passing will be questionable since The Gaurs’ strikers don’t have a good conversion rate. Of their two main strikers, Robin Singh and Julio Cesar, the former hasn’t scored till now while the latter only scored his first goal in the last game.

The Pride’s Form & Strategy

Marcelinho, Delhi Dynamos FCWith all the things that have gone wrong with The Gaurs this season, it is hard to imagine them coping with the quality of Delhi Dynamos FC. The Pride have been playing will all season long. Even though they’ve drawn the majority of their games (4 of 6), their performances have been very impressive and the only thing they lack is the finishing touch.

Consider the last game. In the match against FC Pune City, Delhi Dynamos FC dominated their opponents throughout the 90 minutes. The only problem was that they didn’t convert enough of the opportunities they created. Their conversion rate in the game was less than half of FC Pune City’s. Even the possession stats were awry in favour of Delhi Dynamos FC who ended up with 60 percent possession in the game.

Logic dictates that it won’t be that long before those draws turn into wins, as The Pride refine their defensive and offensive performances. They will rely heavily on their in-form forward, Marcelinho, to do so. Marcelinho is not only their leading goal scorer but also their leader with respect to assists.

In six games, Marcelinho has collected three goals and three assists, which means that he’s had a hand in six out of eight goals scored by Delhi Dynamos FC. Incidentally, that makes Delhi Dynamos the highest scoring team in the Indian Super League along with Atletico De Kolkata. Between these two teams, the winner is clear in our minds even though most of our predictions till now have been turned on their heads by abnormal performances by various teams.

Which Route Will Frodo Take?

This game will see a win for Delhi Dynamos FC over FC Goa by two goals to one. There is no way that The Gaurs’ defence is going to resist The Pride’s attacking lope and verve. The Gaurs can be safely expected to score as they like to play an attacking game with a focus on passing down the wings. The only reason why we’re predicting a win for the Delhi Dynamos FC is that we find their attackers to be more accomplished that The Gaurs’.

Here’s a bonus tip for you. If you’re not interested in betting on the winner, one of the safest bets you can go for this time out will be Delhi Dynamos FC to score and Marcelinho to either assist or score!