The Black and Whites have been placed in a relatively easier group at the Federation Cup and will look to start on a positive note...
Mohammedan Sporting will lock horns with United Sikkim in their first group game of the Federation Cup in the MDS complex at Manjeri.
The Kolkata club had a dismal start to the I-League campaign and could never really pull off a string of consistent performances which resulted in their coach Bola Masood getting sacked midway into the season.
Sanjoy Sen, the man who was at the helm of the side when they had earned promotion was then brought back to take over the reins.
Since his comeback, Mohammedan have shown promises of living up to the expectations of their supporters and drawn back-to-back matches against cross town rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the Calcutta Premier League (CFL).
The team will start their journey in the competition against a weak United Sikkim side and will look to go all out for three points. Syed Rahim Nabi's return from an injury means they now have a stronger Indian contingent to rely on.
Luciano Sobrosa has picked up an injury in the training session and is expected to sit out of the first encounter of the tournament. With Tolgay Ozbey been released, Nabi may be used as the second striker alongside Josimar Martins.
On the other hand, United Sikkim will be depending on the few experienced players they have on board apart from the pool of local footballers. Players like James Singh, Surkumar Singh and Sukhwinder Singh will try to guide the team, while Oluwaunmi Somide Adelaja will be another key man on attack.
Ekendra Singh, the former Sporting Clube de Goa coach will have to field a number of young local players and the team's performance will depend much on their contribution to the team's cause.
As Mohammedan will be trying to take full advantage of the easy group they are in, United Sikkim's aim will be to stage a few upsets before the all-important I-League second division gets rolling.