Mohun Bagan will be up against former I-League competitors Bengaluru FC in the semi-finals of the 2018 Super Cup played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, on Tuesday.
The coach of the Kolkatan giants, Sankarlal Chakraborty, has heaped praise on the resources available to the 2017-18 season Indian Super League (ISL) runners-up.
"We are prepared. In India, Bangalore FC has one of the best infrastructure and well-prepared team. But we are also prepared for tomorrow's (Tuesday) game. Budget, merit, etc. I am not considering that. In the last four-to-five years BFC's performance, quality of players and coaches have been amazing," he confessed.
"I will never forget the Federation Cup final last year where they dominated out and out. We also had a very good team but we lost 2-0. (Albert) Roca is a great coach. He changes his formation several times. So it is very difficult for us. All over the world, one player can win one or two matches but team game will win you the championship."
Other than the Federation Cup final defeat, Mohun Bagan have gone down to Bengaluru FC only once each in the I-League and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Cup out of the 13 previous meetings.
However, given Bengaluru's recent run of form, Chakraborty still regards the clash as one on par with the famous Kolkata derby against arch-rivals East Bengal. "Apart from the [Kolkata] derby, this is the biggest match.
"Not only the front three (Sunil Chhetri, Miku and Udanta Singh) but all the players are good in Bengaluru FC. We have to play balanced football. In knock-out, you have to be balanced. [Bagan's] track record is good but they have won in big matches. [I am] not focusing on past records. One or two players doesn't matter. Overall, Bengaluru is a good team."
The Bagan coach also added, "Sunil (Chhetri) himself said that he misses playing against Mohun Bagan. He is one of the best players in India. This (Mohun Bagan vs. Bengaluru FC is one of the toughest matches in Indian football."
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan's Raynier Fernandes opined that team-mate Cameron Watson could provide them with some insights on his former team. "Our team is prepared for tomorrow's match. Cameron's insight is helpful [as we are facing] his former team."