Mohun Bagan hope to reclaim top spot against Aizawl FC
Written by: Sourav Neogi
After a confortable victory over Colombo FC in the AFC Cup, the Mariners would like to garner the three points against Aizawl FC...
After a midweek break from the I-League to play the AFC Cup qualifiers against Sri Lankan side Colombo FC, Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan are now back in top flight football against Aizawl FC. In their absence, Bagan lost their top spot to arch-rivals East Bengal and currently sit in second position in the I-League.
Mohun Bagan, who are being regarded as one of the title contenders this season, are in dire need to win against high-flying Aizawl FC in order to continue their unbeaten run and to secure three points to consolidate their title chances this season.
Aizawl FC, after a disastrous last season had appointed Mumbai FC coach Khalid Jamil as the Head Coach for the 2016-17 season. Since his appointment, Jamil has worked wonders with the team and has been praised several times for his tactical approach to the game. The Aizawl-based team currently sit in the third position with 13 points following Mohun Bagan in the league standings and are eyeing to climb up the standings in the upcoming match against the Mariners.
The Mariners are having several injury problems amongst their ranks with Raju Gaikwad, Eduardo Ferreira, Balwant Singh, Kean Lewis all out with injuries. Marquee foreign player Sony Norde is also doubtful against Aizawl FC as he picked up a knee injury on Thursday. Key players such as Pronay Halder and Sehnaj Singh have been shown yellow cards in the previous games and are expected to be used cautiously.
Aizawl FC are currently suffering from a card problem as several Aizawl players such as Lalruatthara, Bayi, Obumeneme, Khiangte, Ashutosh Mehta, Jayesh Rane, Zohmingliana and Laldanmawia have all been handed yellow cards in the previous fixtures and this is expected to take a toll on Jamil’s gameplan against the Mariners. Aizawl might also be missing Syrian midfielder Mahmoud El-Amnah who was substituted in the first half in the last match with an injury.
Head to Head
Mohun Bagan and Aizawl FC have played three games between themselves in all competitions, resulting in two wins for the Mariners compared to Aizawl’s one. The last time these two met each other was in a Federation Cup match in May 2016, where Mohun Bagan thrashed the Northeast outfit score of 5-0.
Sanjoy Sen-Mohun Bagan: The Mariners’ head coach has revealed that he is not expecting Aizawl FC to be a walk in the park as the team are just behind the Kolkata giants in the league. “They are a very good team,” said the Mohun Bagan Head Coach. “They showed how to turn back after a defeat and they showed that against DSK Shivajians in the previous match,” he further added. Sen was asked whether the former Mohammedan SC coach is taking this match as the first of three tough fixtures in the next nine days when he answered, “Definitely, we have talked about these fixtures before.” However, considering the injury concerns in the Mariners’ squad, Sen revealed he would fancy a win and three points over playing beautiful football on Saturday. “We need to win this match. We need three points. How we play, good or bad is not crucial to me,” the 56-year old Coach concluded.
Khalid Jamil-Aizawl FC: The Aizawl FC Head Coach was found adamant to play good football in their forthcoming match against Mohun Bagan, unlike his Mariner counterpart. “We have to play good,” said Jamil to the reporters in the pre-match press conference on Friday. The former Mumbai FC coach also revealed that the visitors have taken no extra efforts against Mohun Bagan. “We have prepared well. Not anything special though, we have prepared normally like we do,” said the Kuwait-born coach. However, Jamil also revealed that despite being ‘ready’ for the match, his first priority will be for a draw against the Kolkata giants. “For away teams, the first priority is always one point,” he said.
Man to Watch
Darryl Duffy-Mohun Bagan: The former Salgaocar striker has been in staggering form since the beginning of the I-League season this year. Duffy has scored four goals in five appearances in the League for the Mariners this year and is expected to increase his goals tally against Aizawl on Saturday. The 32-year old Scottish striker is well known for his positional sense, movements both on and off the ball and finishing ability. Adding to that, Duffy’s aerial presence in front of goal will also help the Mariners to secure a win against the Aizawl-based club. The striker had a brilliant display in terms of link up play against Colombo FC.
Jayesh Rane-Aizawl FC: The Aizawl forward has been a force to reckon with in the I-League this season and is expected to bring discomfort to the Bagan defenders in the forthcoming match. Rane, who was awarded the Man of the Match against Mumbai FC has scored one goal in the league till now and is looking to add more goals to his name. Rane offers exceptional pace, build up quality and passing sense which is surely going to make him a player to watch out for for the Bagan defenders.
Mohun Bagan (4-4-2): Debjit (GK), Kotal, Anas, Golui, Bikramjit, Sehnaj, Prabir, Katsumi, Subhasish, Duffy, Jeje.
Aizawl FC (4-3-2-1): Gomes (GK), Mehta, Lalruatthara, Z.Ralte, Kingsley, Obumeneme, Jojo, Lalmuankima, Rane, Jaryan, Bayi.
The game will broadcast live on Ten 2 at 07:00 pm IST. You can also follow live commentary of the game on Khelnow.com.
Published: Fri Feb 03, 2017 03:29 PM IST