After playing out a 1-1 draw against Mumbai FC, the Kolkata giants will hope to get back to winning lane against a young Dempo side...
Mohun Bagan will be hosting Dempo SC in an I-League match to be played in the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday, with the two teams hoping to go up the standings ladder.
The Mariners managed to secure a 1-1 draw against Mumbai FC in their last match after an emphatic 4-0 victory over United Sports Club.
Coach Karim Bencherifa wants his side to find their rhythm and consistency so that they can get positive results. He is likely to field the same starting eleven from their last tie.
Manish Bhargav and Ram Malik will provide the team with width while Denson Devadas and Yusa Katsumi will marshal the midfield. After scoring a goal in a practice match against Bhawanipore a couple of days ago, Shaiju Mon, the ex-Pailan Arrows player will probably make it to the bench at the expense of Pankaj Moula.
Bencherifa however denied that his team will enjoy home advantage anymore, given that Dempo have been residing in Kolkata for a while now.
"They are in the city for the last four-to-five days and have coped well with the atmosphere. I don't think we will be having any home advantage against them. Though they are a young side, they have a few young players who have even played for the national team. We will be aiming to score an early goal," he said on the eve of the game.
Dempo have only 16 players in their squad for the game and are still without the services of attacking midfielder Roberto Mendes Silva as the Brazilian is recovering from an injury.
Debabrata Roy too is on the treatment table and add to that the suspension of Peter Carvalho which would further cripple the options of Maurucio Afonso, the assistant coach who is in-charge given that Arthur Papas is in Australia for personal reasons.
“We have played good football in the last few matches but have failed to earn enough points. We had played well against United SC and Pune FC, but didn't win. We have a number of injury and card problems in the team and have only sixteen players in the squad now. But still we will be trying to play well," said Afonso.
Expect a tough clash with Bagan trying to hit on the counter while Dempo will look to make their possession count.
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