Bottom side Mohun Bagan invite stuttering Goans Dempo SC to Kolkata in what promises to be an enticing I-League fixture this Sunday afternoon...
Nirmal, Ichezona, Aibor, Biswajit;
Quinton, Denson, Jewel;
Odafa, Sabeeth, Nabi
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Rebello, Prathamesh, Cressan, Selwyn;
Anthony, Carvalho, Climax, Clifford;
Following the throw-away 2-2 draw against Shillong Lajong on Thursday, Mohun Bagan will be looking to do better when a de-motivated Dempo come to town. While the visitors have lost three and drawn two in their last five games, Mohun Bagan have lost two, won two and drawn one in as many fixtures.
The Goan side were completely outplayed by a resurgent Pune FC outfit in their last outing while the Mariners could just not keep a lead against a confident Lajong side. Both sides will be going into this one all guns blazing, with regaining confidence high on both their agendas.
For the visitors, the title challenge seems all but over with table-topper Churchill Brothers boasting a 9-point lead over them with the former placed in 5th spot with 35 points. Dempo coach Armando Colaco has blamed injuries and controversies for his side's poor showings in recent times. Foreign players have either not been performing or have been relegated to the sidelines following injuries.
The Green and Maroon side on the other hand, have been slowly but surely finding their feet under Karim Bencherifa following their points deduction episode. Currently on the rocks on 14th position with 10 points, Mohun Bagan will be looking to capitalize on their visitors' poor form.
While Bencherifa will be upbeat about Odafa Okolie all set to return from suspension, he also has to address the goalkeeper situation facing the club. Having the striker back will be a huge boost to the Kolkata outfit, adding more spice to the fixture. It will also be interesting to see which foreign player is chosen for the starting eleven seeing the trio of Bagan's international players doing well in the previous game against Lajong.
As for Dempo, they need to get off the blocks and be positive from the start given they are sure to face a Mohun Bagan side who are equally under-fire given their league position. Colaco needs to make sure this one too does not end up being a case of damage control for his defending I-League champions come the final whistle.
Mohun Bagan: Odafa Okolie is set to return for the home side in the starting line-up as it will be interesting to see which foreigner takes the fall in this one. Denson Devadas will be back from suspension which means Sushant Matthew will make way for him. They suffer from a goalkeeping nightmare as both Shilton Paul and Arindam Bhattacharya are injured and Sudipta Banerjee has gone home following the sad demise of his father. One of the half-fit custodians may have to start.
Dempo SC: Prathamesh Maulingkar looks like a doubt for this one. Apart from that, one could see a similar side being fielded for the visitors from their trip to Pune.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- An injury-ravaged Japanese Ryuji Sueoka is Dempo's top scorer this season with 9 goals
- Despite being in suspension for sometime now, Odafa Okolie is Mohun Bagan's top scorer; again with 9 goals
- Dempo's 3-0 win over the Mariners at the Fatorda in the corresponding fixture in November was Bencherifa's first loss as Mohun Bagan coach
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