Dempo Sports Club coach Armando Colaco needs to juggle with his options ahead of the seventh round I-League clash against Air India at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Saturday.
The suspension of Climax Lawrence and unavailability of strikers has caused a crisis of sorts within the team and the coach is now forced to make crucial choices both in midfield and attack.
With Climax unavailable, it would mean Godwin Franco can be a straight-forward replacement but coach Colaco is understood to be toying with the idea of fielding Anthony Pereira as central midfielder to partner Peter Carvalho.
Anthony is also being penciled for a striking role alongside Ryuji Sueoka, ostensibly to make space for the talented Romeo Fernandes on the right side of midfield. Romeo, a junior international, has given a good account of himself in the Goa Pro League.
“We have several options. The starting eleven is not yet finalized at the moment,” said a member of the coaching staff.
What is for certain is that Mahesh Gawli, who missed the last match due to injury, will return to the starting eleven ahead of Rowilson Rodrigues. Joaquim Abranches has also been declared fit.
“We need to take the points and maintain our position at the top. We cannot afford to slip-up,” said the Dempo official.
Air India, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the pool and struggling with their own problems. The team has been unable to enforce themselves and the problems coach Godfred Pereira has had with the management has only added to the confusion.
Air India are sitting at the bottom of the league ladder with just three points from five matches. Their match against Pune FC in the previous round was cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances.