Cash strapped United face Pune challenge

Kolkata: Third placed Pune FC will seek to revive their I-League fortunes when they take on a struggling United SC in a round 15 fixture in Kalyani on Sunday.

Having hit a roadblock with two back to back losses, Pune FC hope to draw maximum motivation from their past encounters in Kolkata.

Earlier this year, Pune FC had downed Mohammedan Sporting while they had beaten Mohun Bagan in an away game last season, something that should inspire the Pune outfit.

United SC, who are missing their top two goalkeepers, have four more injury worries with Eric Brown (ankle), Hassan Al Moustafa (hamstring) and Snehashish Chakraborty (quadriceps).

To make matters worse, the morale of the side too has been at an all time low as severe cash crunch has led to speculation that their ace striker Ranty Martins may switch allegiance to East Bengal early next year.

Under such circumstances, their Dutchaman Eelco Schattorie will look to Lalkamal Bhowmick who returned from a two-month lay off and left-back Deepak Mondal.

Incidentally, the purple brigade has never lost a home match against Pune and it remains to be seen whether they keep their slate clean this time as well.

Pune FC, meanwhile miss the services of winger Nikhil Kadam, who has not travelled with the squad which happens to be their last tour of the calendar year after injuring his knee.

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.

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