In their bid to reclaim the top spot, Sreenidi Deccan FC will host new league leaders RoundGlass Punjab FC at the Deccan Arena in Hyderabad on Tuesday, January 17 at 2pm IST.
Sreenidi Deccan FC’s three-match winning run came to an end in their previous encounter, as they narrowly went down 0-1 away to Rajasthan United FC. RoundGlass Punjab FC took full advantage of the Deccan Warriors’ slip-up, picking up a comprehensive 3-0 win against Mumbai Kenkre FC to go top of the pile on Saturday.
The two sides met each other in the opening round back in November, with hosts RoundGlass Punjab bagging a 2-1 win thanks to two first-half goals from Luka Majcen and Samuel Lalmuanpuia.
At the pre-match press conference, Sreenidi Deccan FC head coach Carlos Vaz Pinto stated that his focus is solely on the game in front of him, rather than the league table. “I don’t look at the table. We have our goals set, we know where we want to finish in the league, and we know how many points we need to reach our goal. That’s our focus. We will look at the table at the end of the season.
“I expect a better result from us tomorrow. We need to put on a better performance than that against Rajasthan United,” Pinto added.
The Portuguese also shared his thoughts on RoundGlass Punjab FC and their previous meeting. “RoundGlass Punjab have not played many games away from home. They have played three and won only once, against a nine-man team. It’s not easy to pick up points on the road. It was an entirely different story when we faced them in our first game of the season but now, factors like fatigue and game management come into play. RoundGlass Punjab is a really good team but now the story is different and we expect a good game tomorrow,” Pinto said.
RoundGlass Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis believes his team cannot lose focus after going top. “A win in our last game gave us confidence, but we now need to concentrate on Sreenidi Deccan. It’s a crucial game, but like any other fixture, we will go for three points. Our tactics will not change. The pressure on us is the same in every game,” said the Greek.
Vergetis reckons his side has improved since they last faced Sreenidi Deccan FC. “You can see from our matches that we have improved in all aspects of our game as the season has progressed,” he claimed.
The match between Sreenidi Deccan FC and RoundGlass Punjab FC will be broadcast live on Eurosport and Doordarshan Sports and streamed live on the Discovery Plus OTT platform.