Opponent Watch : A look at the in form defending champions, Mohun Bagan

The defending champions Mohun Bagan are riding high on confidence after 4-0 thrashing of South China, the side from Hongkong in the AFC Cup tournament on Wednesday. On March 3rd All India Football Federation( AIFF)  Disciplinary committee slapped a 8 game ban on coach Sanjoy Sen for making derogatory statements against AIFF. A ban of 8 games and a fine of Rs 10 lakhs was imposed on the Mariner’s coach. But that has not affected the spirit of the defending champions.

With the I-league within a month of coming to an end, the Mariners are locked on 22 points at the top of the table with Bengaluru FC having played a match less. With 7 games to go the title race could yet again go to the very last day considering the battle at the top. With matches coming thick and fast Mohun Bagan entertain the topsy-turvy Mumbai FC side who are winless in their 7 previous games, with 4 draws and 3 losses.

The previous game against Salgaocar resulted in a 3-1 win for the defending champs. Three first half goals were enough to grab the points for Bagan with Jeje opening the scoring and Glen Cornell netting a brace. Skipper Katsumi Yusa has led from the front with his presence being influential in every game. His pace coupled with his awareness in the box, also his shooting ability make him a lethal force in attack. Midfielder Pankaj Moulla has started all the 10 games. Defender Pritam Kotal has been instrumental in organizing the troops at the back. Goalkeeper Shilton Paul seems to be a tall figure in goal having performed at the very top level having conceded only 7 goals in 10 games. Midfielder Ram Malik has also been an astute figure in the middle of the park. Top scorer Dudu with 7 goals will look to set the pitch on fire against the Men in Yellow whereas Katsumi will be looking to contribute from the midfield. Jeje Lalpekhlua also looks a threat in front of goal and would be looking to continue his scoring spree. Kean Lewis will look to add to his tally of 2 goals if he gets a start.

For Mohun Bagan, the game looks to be crucial with pressure from Bengaluru FC and Kingfisher East Bengal mouting from one end. The title race could be a three horse race with Bagan and Bengaluru tied on 22 points and East Bengal just 2 points behind them. Tune into Tenaction for all the live action from the Barasat stadium in Kolkata on Sunday at 7.05 pm.


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