The Kolkata outfit will be missing the services of midfielder Denson Devadas and Kingshuk Debnath who will play for an ‘office’ tournament…Mohun Bagan kick-start their Federation Cup sojourn when they face Mumbai FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, Kerala, on Wednesday in the group C encounter.
Having won the derby against East Bengal, confidence will certainly be high amongst the Bagan faithful, however they do have some important concerns to deal with. Skipper Odafa Okolie is to have an MRI scan to determine the extent of his hamstring injury while Denson Devadas and Kingshuk Debnath, who also have job with one of the state government bodies, have to return to Kolkata to represent their ‘office’ side.
Add to this, Rowilson Rodrigues is carrying a niggle and has been ruled out of the tie.
“We have to re-plan our strategies. Mumbai FC area strong team and have a good coach (Khalid Jamil) who has guided them well in spite of a paltry budget in the past. They have strengthened in the right areas and have an advantage in set pieces as they are physically strong.
“I have full faith in the abilities of my players and we are looking forward to the game,” said coach Karim Bencherifa.
Mumbai FC have added striker Henry Ezeh, midfielder Sehnaj Singh and defender Rahul Bheke on their roster. Khalid Jamil’s side will depend on Yusif Yakubu’s experience and guile to unlock the Bagan defense.
“Mohun Bagan are a good team and Karim is a top coach. It is always difficult to play against them.
“We have been playing well lately and have brought in new players. Sehnaj Singh in particular has good skills and doesn’t lose the ball easily. We hope to put in a good show against them,” said Jamil.
Mohammed Rafi suffered an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw against Rangdajied United and has been ruled out of the tournament.
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