Both teams have had contrasting campaign this season and come into the game with very different goals.
Reigning Hero I-League table toppers Chennai City FC would look to consolidate their lead at the top when they host sixth-placed Mohun Bagan tomorrow (February 24, 2019). Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, would look forward to accumulating three more points under their belt to grab the fifth position on the table leapfrogging Neroca FC. The game is scheduled for a 5 pm IST kick-off.
The first leg between Chennai City FC and Mohun Bagan in Kolkata ended in a 1-1 draw. Mohun Bagan took the lead through Sony Norde before Nestor Gordillo Benitez restored the parity for the Chennai-based side.
Chennai City FC’s Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas, who is known to make his team play attacking football is expected to be strengthening his defence which was exposed in their game against Neroca FC which finally ended in a nerve-racking 3-3 draw. However, a convincing 4-2 win against Shillong Lajon FC in their last encounter will only add to their confidence levels moving into the important game against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan.
Chennai City coach Akbar Nawas said, “We have an important game tomorrow and since we are in the top of the league, there’s no reason for not going for it and win the match and eventually, the title. Sriram and Shahabaz Alam are back from their injuries and that will be significant especially, before such an important game.”
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, would want to make the most out of Chennai’s fragile defence line to hand the leaders their third defeat this season. Mohun Bagan who are quick on the counter would like to use their capability to the maximum through Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisseka as forwards and a lethal combination of Sony Norde and Omar Elhussieny in the midfield.
However, Khalid Jamil might be wary of his defence line against the deadly attacking force comprising of Pedro Manzi, Sandro Rodriguez and Nestor Gordillo.
Mohun Bagan coach Khalid Jamil said, “In the match against Chennai, we will be trying to give chances to everybody. Some players might take rest and we may play with new formations. We have to fight as we fought before and we will play as a complete team.”
Jamil praised the opponents as well, “Chennai are at the top of the league and they are a good team. They have good Indian players, good foreigners and they play good in home matches.”
Chennai City FC
The southerners do not have any major injury concerns at the moment and are looking forward to the game.
The Mariners also do not have any absentees going into the game. However, tactical changes can be expected of them on Sunday evening.
Chennai City FC– Boerchio (GK), Edwin, Bora, Eslava, Kumar, Pandiyan, Kaplan, Ranjeet, Sandro, Nestor, Manzi
Mohun Bagan– Subrata (GK), Gurjinder, Bikramjeet, Kimkima, Khaingte, Mehtab, Kingsley, Ruidas, Norde, Dicka, Kisekka
The match will kick-off at 5 PM at Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on Sunday. It will be televised on Star Sports and streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.