Injury-hit Dempo take on upbeat Sporting

Updated: Mar 23, 2013, 19:11 PM IST

Mapusa : Injury-hit Dempo will have to tighten their defence if they are to beat Sporting Clube de Goa in their 21st round I-League match, to be played at the Duler Stadium here on Sunday.

Dempo, who haven`t played well of late that saw them slip to third place with 35 points from 19 matches, seven points behind leaders Churchill Brothers Sports club, will have to reshuffle their defence against Sporting, who are high on confidence after beating Salgaocar 3-1.

Defenders Mahesh Gawli, Valerian Rebelo and Samir Naik, who are nursing injuries, will skip the match and coach Armando Colaco will have to replace them with their reserves Selwyn Fernandes and Prathamesh Maulingkar who has been taken on loan from Pailan Arrows.

"It`s a crucial match tomorrow and we need to win if we are to keep hopes of defending the title," stated Colaco.

"There is nothing to worry as we have good bench strength and with our midfield and striker, force remains the same. We need to keep focus throughout the match and not remain complacent," he said.

Sporting Clube de Goa are on a high after registering four wins on the trot and have conceded just one goal.

They have 26 points from 20 matches and have moved to the 8th position.

Sporting`s coach is happy the way his team is fairing. "We have done lot of hard-work and intensive training and the result is coming. The boys are now mentally strong to take the strongest team and tomorrow is another challenge against Dempo who have beaten us 5-0 and are fighting for the title," said Sporting coach Oscar Bruzon Barreras.

Adil Khan is expected to replace the suspended Joyner Lourence in the centre of defence.