Stand-in coach Derrick Pereira has his hands full as he prepares FC Goa to take on East Bengal in the Super Cup semifinal here on Monday.
In the aftermath of the controversial win in the last-eight fixture against Jamshedpur FC, the Gaurs will line-up at the Kalinga Stadium without five key men — Hugo Boumous, Brandon Fernandes, Sergio Juste, Pranoy Halder and Bruno Pinheiro — owing to suspensions.
Adding insult to injury, six of its players, including Ferran Corominas and Edu Bedia, are nursing injuries, the nature of which hasn’t been disclosed, although the duo was seen involved in light training on Sunday. Corominas has been central to Goa’s plans, having scored 20 goals this season.
The situation for FC Goa is so dire that the team management ordered outfield kits for its reserve goalkeeper.
However, despite the overwhelming challenges facing Goa, Pereira is adamant that his side will not curb its attacking brand of football.
The side, though, may tweak its usual 4-2-3-1 formation in light of the situation. If passed fit, Bedia will have to double up in shielding the back four and also play an attacking role.
Meanwhile, East Bengal will fancy its chances against a weakened opponent and will look to expose the defensive naivety, which Jamshedpur failed to capitalise on.
Goa’s zonal marking system during set pieces allowed the Jamshedpur players to meet the ball unmarked in dangerous positions only for them to squander the chances.
Khalid Jamil has players with a good aerial presence in forward Dudu Omagbemi and defender Eduardo Ferreira and the duo will be probably trouble the makeshift Goan defence.
Jamil may prefer a 4-3-2-1 formation, with attacking midfielders Katsumi Yusa and Mahmoud Al-Amnah feeding the striker Dudu. Both Yusa and Al-Amnah have already found their goal-scoring touch in the Super Cup and could prove to be a handful.
For Goa, which crashed out in the playoffs of the recently concluded ISL, East Bengal could land another fatal blow to its season.