Shillong: In-form Pune FC will attempt to overcome Shillong Lajong FC, whom they have never beaten in any competition ever, when they take on each other in an I-League encounter here Saturday. The northeast team is the only I-League team that Pune has not yet conquered.
Pune will have a tough task in the cold weather, artificial pitch and a near-total home team support at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Polo ground), to increase their seven-match unbeaten streak. "Going by the conditions, we need to acclimatize to the cold weather and the turf as well and get going," said Pune coach Derrick Pereira.
"Thursday we had our first session on the pitch. So far, we've been playing on natural grass in the last five matches and this game is important in view of the next four being on similar surfaces." Pune FC has United Sikkim FC, Prayag United SC and Mohun Bagan up next to complete what is a tough away outing.
Both teams, so far, have faced off in six meetings ever since they gained promotion with four draws and two losses. While Pune FC go into this fixture as one of the most in-form teams in the league, Lajong have on the other hand had a mixed run of results, which has seen them pick up only a win in their last eight matches and no wins in the last four.
With the Churchill Brothers match of this round postponed, Pune has a good opportunity to move up to second place in the standings behind Dempo SC, with a win.