The Mariners are still pushing for an outside shot at the title while the southerners need to turnaround their dismal season.
Mohun Bagan will look to get back to winning ways to renew their title challenge, when they take on last placed side Gokulam Kerala FC at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Stadium in Kolkata on Monday (February 12, 2018.)
The Kolkata giants have had a mixed bag of results after a convincing 2-0 win over East Bengal, as they have won one and drawn two in the last three encounters. They are currently fourth on the league table, with 21 points from 13 matches. If Akram Moghrabi had converted the penalty in their last match the Mariners would have kept on the pressure on the top two sides Minerva Punjab FC and NEROCA FC. Sankarlal Chakraborty, head coach of Mohun Bagan, refused to accept that his side is taking any of the lower ranked sides lightly and hence losing points.
“No not at all. We take each and every team very seriously. The important thing is that we are playing exactly the way we want to play. If we continue playing this way, I am sure that we will win matches in the future,” said Chakraborty.
Dipanda Dicka with 8 goals continues to lead the goal scoring charts and his partnership with Moghrabi in the attacking third has been a treat to watch. Cameron Watson will continue to marshal at the centre of the park and the Australian’s performance dictates the tempo of the match. Bagan’s latest recruit Bimal Magar had a decent outing against Chennai and will look to prove his mettle in front of the home fans if given a chance.
Gokulam Kerala are currently the 10th placed side on the league table with 10 points from 12 outings. They broke their six-match losing streak with a hard-fought victory over Chennai City and even went on to win a five-goal thriller against Shillong Lajong 3-2. But Bino George’s men once again slipped up against NEROCA away from home to lose 1-0 in Imphal.
A tough test awaits the Kozhikode based club as their defense will be put under pressure by the likes of Dicka and Moghrabi. Emanuel Chigozie will have to lead the backline and their defensive positioning must be top notch as spaces behind them can be utilized by the pacey wingers of Bagan. Their midfield linchpin Mudde Mussa must be on top of his game to neutralize the threats of Watson and Raynier Fernandes.
Speaking about his team’s preparation ahead of the match, coach Bino George said, “These boys are playing in the I-League for the first time. They are playing their best.In each match our boys played well. Unfortunately, we lost the last match against NEROCA FC despite of playing well”.
The match is scheduled at 2 PM and it’ll be telecast live on Star Sports 2/2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.