Rowllin Borges and Bartholomew Ogbeche represent two major threats for FC Pune City (FCPC), playing the host in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Balewadi stadium here on Tuesday.
NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) appears to look dangerous when the midfielder and striker are involved, for almost every opponent, so far in the competition.
FCPC’s problems at the rear and the tendency of leaking late goals will need to be sorted out in time to build on the deserving victory at home over Jamshedpur FC (JFC).
India midfielder Borges, extremely effective in both halves of the pitch, is in the best ISL form of his career.
NEUFC striker Ogbeche, wearing the No. 10 jersey, is another rival to get extra attention from the home team. He is developing a reputation for scoring late in the matches, when defenders slip into mistakes due to fatigue.
With seven goals from an equal number of appearances, the Nigeria-born Frenchman is among the match-winners.
Pune City runs into a tough opponent for the second home match in a row, following a 2-1 win over JFC last week at Balewadi.
Struggling to get the act together in seven games, the host showed signs of producing the 2017 form. Kamaljit inspired the defence to stand firm, the counter-attacks were swift and passing precise. Marcelinho, Diego Carlos and Ashique Kuruniyan were in crackling form.
Iain Hume’s return to match fitness is happy news for FCPC, which desperately needs goals from its most famous foreign signing in the ninth match, scarred by five losses, two draws and just one win.
Pradyum Reddy, the home side’s interim coach, said: “With the attacking options that we have in our squad, I think it is best for us to go with more of an attacking mindset because we need to get three points.”
NEUFC coach Eelco Schattorie said: “Pune City have a squad with a lot of individual quality, really good individual players who can make a difference.”