Marvellous Mariners Focused To Extend Their Lead

By I-League Media

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan are all set to return home for their Hero I-League battle with Mumbai FC at the Barasat Stadium after a fervent away trip.

While Mohun Bagan were away to Hong Kong for their AFC Cup duty, Mumbai FC played out a 2-2 draw against Salgaocar FC in round 12. Incidentally, it was their sixth draw in eleven matches played this season.

Khalid Jamil’s men haven’t won in their last seven games which include four draws and three loses. Meanwhile, the reverse leg also ended in a goalless stalemate at the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai.

The Mumbai boss, however, said that they had come to Kolkata in order to get a positive result while accepting that they would be happy with a point.

He didn’t mince his words while praising Mohun Bagan, “Mohun Bagan have been playing well since last season. The likes of Sony Norde, Cornell Glen and Debjit Majumder are very good, and are playing well.”

The Mumbai boss, however, lamented the injury nightmare that his team was going through and said that came in the way of the great start their team had.

Two of his foreign recruits, Minchol Son and Taisuke Matsugae were doubtful as they were nursing injuries while Eric Brown and Ryuki Kozawa are almost certain to feature in the starting lineup.

Climax Lawrence, Naoba Singh and Clifford Miranda did not travel with the squad while Syed Rahim Nabi is on a 10-day personal leave.

Midfielder NP Pradeep is out of consideration while Arata Izumi and Allan Dias are also doubtful for tomorrow’s mouth-watering clash.

Kozawa would most likely start with Sushil Singh up front with Jayesh Rane and Ishfaq Ahmed operating on the wings.

Mariners’ assistant coach, Shankar Lal Chakraborty, however, is pretty confident that Sanjoy Sen’s absence in the dugout won’t matter much, “It is Sen who has coached the team and has decided the tactics so I don’t think his absence from the touchline will matter much.”

He was however guarded and said that the three of Kingfisher East Bengal, Bengaluru and Mohun Bagan all are in the championship race and the team would need to be watchful.

The Mariners are expected to start with their regular starting eleven with Cornell Glen and Jeje Lalpekhlua up front and Debjit Majumder under the woodwork.

Katsumi Yusa will continue marshalling the midfield while Kinshuk Debnath will continue to helm the defense alongside Luciano Sabrosa.

With 22 points from ten matches, this is high time for Mohun Bagan to extend their lead at the top with Bengaluru FC not playing in this weekend before the international break. For Mumbai FC, however, they need to go beyond the injuries and pick up an elusive win.

The Hero I-League battle will kick off at 07:05 pm and it’ll be telecast live on Ten Action.

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