New Delhi: Indian football fans will be treated to a double-header in Round 13 of the I-League 2015-16 on Sunday.
The league's new boys DSK Shivajians Football Club take on Sporting Clube de Goa in Pune in the first match of Super Sunday. The home side will be looking to build on their upset victory over East Bengal, as they face a stiff test from Odafa Okolie's team.
DSK, currently lie at the bottom of the table, will move above Shillong and Aizawl if they beat the Goan side. Sporting on the other hand will be able to apply more pressure on East Bengal in third place if they get past DSK.
In the second match, defending champions Mohun Bagan face a tricky test against Mumbai FC at the Barasat stadium. The unbeaten Kolkata side will look to continue their solid run in the league, as they face a team that has troubled them in the past.
The Mariners find themselves at the top of the table with 22 points. A win against Mumbai will help them open up a three-point lead over Bengaluru FC. Mumbai, currently in 5th, will leapfrog Sporting Clube de Goa if they manage to upset the apple cart.
DSK Shivajians vs Sporting Clube de Goa - Preview
Despite having a slow start to the season, DSK Shivajians will be confident going into this crucial clash having managed to do better in recent weeks by picking up five points in the past three games.
Back-to-back draws against Shillong Lajong and the massive win over East Bengal helped DSK Shivajians to their longest unbeaten streak, something the Pune-based side will be keen to extend.
Fourth-placed Sporting Clube de Goa, on the other hand, has amassed 14 points so far from 11 matches and will be a tricky opponent.
The Goan-side would look to continue their impressive form in the wake of recent draws with the likes of Bengaluru FC and defending champions Mohun Bagan.
Sporting are currently on a four-match winless streak which includes three consecutive draws that followed a loss.
However, they have managed to pick up two wins on the road this season and will pose a considerable threat.
When both sides faced off in the season opener, they ended up sharing spoils in a goalless draw, which was also DSK Shivajians' first-ever game in the top-flight league.
The home side will be banking on the strike force of skipper Perrick Dipanda, who leads the scoring charts with four goals, along with partner Douhou Pierre, who netted his second of the season in victory against East Bengal. Spanish medio Juan Queroto has been in fine form and Coach Derrick Periera will hope the trio to fire again.
While DSK Shivajians will be boosted by the availability of their full strength squad for this crucial game, opponents Sporting will be missing the services of Nigerian defender Loveday Okechukwu who was sent off in their 2-2 draw against Bengaluru FC a week ago along with striker Odafa Okolie who is out injured.
Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai FC - Preview
Bagan have been in rollicking form this season and come into this encounter at the back of a 4-0 away win against South China club in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup match.
Bagan are presently top with 22 points ahead on goal difference of Bengaluru FC. Bagan have played 10 matches, one more than Bengaluru.
Mumbai are fifth on the league table with 12 points from 11 games.
The last time these two sides met Mumbai held Bagan to a goalless stalemate.
But Bagan this time would be without their coach Sanjoy Sen who is facing ab eight-game ban for making derogatory statements against the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
"Sanjoy sen would not be in the bench even. We will try and stick to what we have been doing throughout this season and play attacking football," assistant coach Shankarlal Chakraborty told reporters here.
"They (Mumbai) are a good team. They have been playing well and we are aware of the fact that they held us to a draw last time."
Bagan would want their forwards to deliver once again. Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sony Norde and Cornell Glen have been on the score sheet regularly and all eyes will be on them on Sunday.
Mumbai on the other hand would believe they can pull off an unlikely upset.