AFC Cup: Mohun Bagan eye revenge over Bashundhara Kings
Bashundhara Kings have never defeated Mohun Bagan.
The Mariners were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture and will aim to get the win over the Bangladeshi giants to take a step closer to winning their group.
The Kings are aware of the sheer importance of this game for their AFC Cup dreams. They were able to unlock the Mariners’ backline and score two goals to claw their way to a valuable point from the away trip. However, a win in this game can significantly improve their chances of winning Group D.
They have to use the energy of their fans and make good use of home advantage. Bashundhara Kings are not the favourites to win this tie, so they can probably thrive as the underdogs and play with more freedom. They don’t have as much to lose as the Indian Super League heavyweights, but a loss after the way they fought in Bhubaneswar can really sting.
Mohun Bagan’s manager Juan Ferrando has repeatedly insisted this season that their priority is excelling in the AFC Cup. Not being able to make it past the group stages will be a disaster for them. That is why this upcoming game will be like a mini-final for Bagan.
Losing can bring horrible repercussions for the Mariners and threaten their chances of making it to the knockout stages. They need to be fully focused and ensure that no upset can take place. A draw won’t be the worst result, but the Mariners will be gunning to get a win and move one step closer to the next round.
Injury & Team News
Mohun Bagan will be without defender Anwar Ali in this match. They will also be sweating on the fitness of influential midfielder Hugo Boumous. Ashique Kuruniyan is a long-term absentee with a knee injury. Bashundhara Kings should have a fully fit squad for this clash.
Mohun Bagan and Bashundhara Kings have met each other four times, with their recent meeting on 24 October. That ended up being a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Kalinga Stadium, a result both will look to avoid this time around.
Total Matches – 3
Bashundhara Kings wins – 0
Mohun Bagan wins – 1
Draws – 2
Bashundhara Kings (4-2-3-1)
Mehedi Hasan (GK), Biswanath Ghosh, Tariq Kazi, Boburbek Yuldashev, Md Saad Uddin, Asror Gafurov, Didier Brossou, Rakib Hossain, Miguel Figueira, Robinho, Dorielton
Mohun Bagan (3-4-1-2)
Vishal Kaith (GK), Hector Yuste, Brendan Hamill, Subashish Bose, Asish Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Glan Martins, Liston Colaco, Sahal Abdul Samad, Dimitri Petratos, Jason Cummings
Players to Watch
Dorielton (Bashundhara Kings)
Dori was a real menace for the Mohun Bagan defenders in the previous game, causing major issues with his clever movement. The Brazilian forward scored a great goal, totally catching the opposition backline with his smart runs and trickery in the final third. Dori will look to maintain his admirable form and be a thorn for the Mariners.
He will look to be more proactive with his link-up play, helping build better moves for his side. However, the Kings will need their star striker to be at his ruthless best in the box. Dori will need to efficiently finish whatever chances he gets and be decisive to turn things in his side’s favour.
Sahal Abdul Samad (Mohun Bagan)
Sahal Abdul Samad has proven to be an inspired signing for the Mariners and has also excelled in his debut AFC Cup campaign. He has two goal contributions in three appearances and is excelling in a free role under Juan Ferrando. He will need to be at his best to outwit the Kings at their own yard in an intense clash.
Samad’s threat was neutralized in the last game, but he will aim to learn from that and be smarter with his work. He will look to make better runs to sneak past markers and find the ball in the key attacking areas. Sahal needs to nail his final passes to create chances for teammates and also time his runs well enough to get into scoring areas and make himself a major goal-scoring threat.
Did you know?
- Mohun Bagan have scored eight goals in AFC Cup 2023-24 Group D matches, the joint-most for any team in their group.
- Dori is Bashundhara Kings’ highest-scorer in the AFC Cup this season, having scored three goals in as many games.
- Sahal Abdul Samad had goal contributions in all his AFC Cup games this season before the Bashundhara Kings game, where his run ended.
The Bashundhara Kings vs Mohun Bagan game kicks off at 7:30 PM IST, at the Bashundhara Kings Arena, Dhaka on 7 November, 2023. Live telecast of the fixture will be available on Sports18 Network. Live streaming of the game will be available on the FanCode app.