Margao: A close contest is on the cards as table toppers Dempo lock horns with high-flying Salgaocar in the 17th round of the I-League at Nehru stadium, Fatorda on Sunday.
Dempo, who have beaten Salgaocar in the first phase, will be looking to consolidate their position at the top, and a win tomorrow will put them five points clear of the nearest rival East Bengal, who drew their last match against Churchill Brothers.
Dempo started well winning the first seven matches, but failed to maintain consistency, losing four ties thereafter.
However, they have now strengthened their midfield with inclusion of Trinidad and Tobago`s Densil Theobald.
Salgaocar, back in form after winning the last six matches, meanwhile will be looking to equal Dempo`s achievement of seven straight victories in the first leg.
A win will see them move to third place, displacing Churchill and Mohun Bagan, who have 30 points each.
Back-in-form Ryuji Sueoka will be spearheading the attack, playing as a withdraw forward. He is linking up well with Francis Fernandes and Ishfaq Ahmed on the flanks.
But their success will largely depend on Edeh Chidi, playing upfront, converting the half chances.
Maurico Afonso, who is looking after Dempo`s team in the absence of regular coach Armando Colaco, said it`s an important match as a win tomorrow will keep them ahead of East Bengal by five points.
"We have no injury worries except for Rowlison Rodrigues who is down with fever. Salgaocar is playing well at the moment and we need to play to our potential to put it across to them. We have beaten them in the first phase and are hoping to win tomorrow also," stated Afonso.