The Mariners could climb to the top of the table with the three points if other results go their way.
Mohun Bagan, fresh off their Kolkata derby win last weekend face a tricky visit from Churchill Brothers FC Goa at the Vidyasagar Krirangan (Barasat Stadium) in their third 2017/18 Hero I-League game on Sunday (December 10, 2017).
After the morale-boosting 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Kingfisher East Bengal last Sunday, Sanjoy Sen’s side appears confident to make the surge up the rankings table and this tie could not have come at a better time, that too at home.
“We are confident after out derby win but we are not over-confident. We have to stay grounded and go for all three points tomorrow. Churchill Brothers might have lost their opening game but that is a thing of the past. I am not reading into what has happened and it is a fresh start,” said the head coach of the Green and Maroons on the eve of the game.
Sat beside him, star player Sony Norde echoed the same uplifted mood but remained wary of the opposition, slightly unknown. He said, “All teams that visit us will be aiming for three points and Churchill Brothers will not be any different. We have to be cautious against them.”
The Mariners will be relieved to hear that Yuta Kinowaki will be match fit after battling a bout of common cold, especially after his Kolkata derby heroics. Striker Aser Pierrick Dipanda will be raring to go as his MRI scans did not show much damage from a knock he received in the same game. Azharuddin Mallick’s partaking still remains under a cloud of suspicion.
Mohun Bagan, who sit pretty on third place with four points in their kitty need a win to join table topper Minerva Punjab FC at the summit, However, the Goans will be playing only their second match of the campaign and are yet to open their account after losing 2-0 at Shillong Lajong in the last round.
The 2012/13 champions made a comeback to the Hero I-League last season after a hiatus of three seasons at the top and ended sixth on the table. However, they did get an elusive home win against the Kolkata giants, beating them 2-1. But, Mohun Bagan will have sweet memories in their own backyard for they recorded a 1-0 win.
The spotlight will be on Ansumana Kromah, the current Mohun Bagan centre-forward who shone in parts in the derby and will be facing his former team. Israil Gurung and Uttam Rai will also be up against their former side Mohun Bagan in Churchill colours.
“I know Mohun Bagan’s might since my playing days and know how big the club is. We have to be at our best and play for a result,” said head coach Mykola Shevchenko who had played stints with fellow Goan side Dempo SC as well as the Red Machines themselves in the early millennium.
The Ukrainian will be looking to continue with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Eric Nwaimo leading the line. Foreign recruits Peter Omoduemuke, his Nigerian compatriot Monday Osagie and Singaporean defender Precious Emuejeraye make up the spine of the team.
The match kicks-off at 2 PM IST and will be telecasted on Star Sports 2, HD 2 and live streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.