Vasco (Goa), Dec 28 (IANS) Pune FC is all set to start their campaign in the Federation Cup on a positive note as they brace up against Shillong Lajong FC in a Group B encounter at the Tilak Maidan here Monday.
With a successful run in their build up, which includes finishing runners-up in the Durand Cup in Goa and King’s Cup in Thimphu, Pune are keen to continue their impressive run.
The team went about business in earnest by completing three training sessions Sunday.
Coach Karim Bencherifa on the morrow expects a spirited performance.
“We are in a good shape as we are carrying forward all the good things we did in the Durand Cup and the King’s Cup. The group is a tough one and we need to be at our best on Monday,” the coach said Sunday.
While defender Munmun Lugun will be in line to make his debut, midfielder Anthony D’Souza returns to the squad after recovering from an injury he suffered during the Durand Cup.
Joining them will be goalkeeper Arup Debnath and Raju Yumnam who return to the 20-member squad after missing out during the King’s Cup in Bhutan.
Pune will however be missing services of defender and captain Anas Edathodika who suffered an ankle injury during the King’s Cup final and is recovering in Pune.
Arata Izumi will lead the team and he will have the support of senior players Ryuji Sueoka, Dhanpal Ganesh, Luciano Sabrosa and Amrinder Singh.
Rivals Lajong come into the game having played their last competitive game in April in the I-League and regrouped a few weeks back under coach Thangboi Singto after most players were involved in the recently concluded ISL.
Going into the clash, Lajong will depend heavily on the foreign duo of North Korean defender Minchol Son and Trinidad & Tobago striker Cornell Glen to lead the team on the field along with a few new signings.