Such is the vagary of sport.
Two years ago, in the 2010-11 season of the I-League, Salgaocar and ONGC were at the opposite ends of the league table. While the Goan side clinched their maiden title, ONGC finished last and were relegated.
Back in the top-flight and reigning supreme at home in the ongoing 2012-13 season, ONGC are all set to start as favourites against an off-colour Salgaocar here at the Amebedkar Stadium on Saturday (Jan 12, 2013).
David Booth's side have failed to string together a series of good results, managing only two wins so far this season. Languishing at the 11th position with the same number of points from 13 matches, Salgaocar will be keen to get a positive result against ONGC on Saturday.
But Booth is aware of the fact that if they are to bag three points against the hosts, they need to put their best foot forward.
"ONGC have been playing some good football for the last three or four matches. They are very strong at home. Do there is no hiding from the fact that it will be a difficult game tomorrow (Saturday). I have confidence in my boys. Looking forward to a good game," Booth said.
The Brit also informed that skipper Luciano Sabrosa and Dinesh Singh will be out of the tie owing to injuries.
There is no special plan in place for Salgaocar to thwart ONGC's Japanese import Yusa Katsumi who has been in terrific form of late.
Rather, Booth wants to concentrate on strengthening his arsenal. "We want to improve and my sole focus is on that." Let's concentrate on ourselves. If we do well, other things will automatically be taken care of."
ONGC, on the other hand will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak to seven and continue their remarkable sojourn to the top half of table.
The once-relegation threatened outfit have looked a well oiled machine since Santosh Kashyap took over the reins. Added to that, they will be high on confidence after pulling off yet another heist in the form of East Bengal.
Match starts 2 pm.
(Image courtesy: AIFF Media)