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  • 21 December 2013
  • • 17:00
  • • Barasat District Sports Stadium, Kalkātā (Kolkata)
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Mohun Bagan face Pune in vital face-off

Mohun Bagan - Pune FC Preview: Karim Bencherifa’s men face litmus test

Mohun Bagan face Pune in vital face-off

AIFF Media

The Red Lizards will look to do a double over the Mariners on Saturday and end the year on a high...

Mohun Bagan shall host Pune FC in a round 16 I-League match this weekend, in a fixture that turns out to be important for both the teams, though for different reasons.

The Mariners are going through a rough patch and their recent clashes against Dempo SC and Mumbai FC have raised eyebrows over their performances. After coming back from an injury in the Kolkata derby, Odafa Okolie has scored only one goal in this I-League campaign and this fact is of little surprise that their club is last in the list of goals scored this term.

A section of Bagan officials have called for Karim Bencherifa, their head coach, to be given the boot, a 3-0 win in the midweek in the Calcutta Premier League has given them a breather.

“Pune are one of the balanced sides in the league. I am an admirer of Calum Angus, their centre-back and Douhou (Pierre) in midfield. However we will look to get a positive result,” said Bencherifa.

Anything short of a win can pose a serious threat to Bencherifa’s tenure at the helm of the Kolkata giants.

Manish Bhargav’s injury will add to the woes of Bencherifa who is already missing the likes of Shankar Oraon, Adil Khan and Wahid Sali. In his absence Pankaj Moula will once again get his share of I-League action while either Ram Malik or Sathyan Sabeeth will start on the flank. Christopher Chizoba will be playing as a withdrawn forward behind Odafa Okolie.

Talking of the away side, Pune FC have recovered from a dry run with a 2-1 win over United SC  last weekend and their extended stay in the city has made them accustomed with the weather as well.

Mike Snoei, the man in charge of the travelling side, now has a completely fit squad at his disposal, with Arata Izumi coming back from suspension and Gurjinder Kumar recovering from an injury.

“Bagan have a nice group of players and it’s surprising that their results haven’t been that good,” said Pune FC coach Mike Snoei.

While a win in this fixture will hand Mohun Bagan the much-needed momentum before the Federation Cup, three points will help the Pune side complete another lap in the title-race. And if you keep in mind the feud between Karim Bencherifa and Mike Snoei that took place after the first-leg match, this is another exciting I-League match in the offing.


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Available Squads
22Shilton PaulGoalkeeper
4Echezona AnyichieDefender
12Pritam KotalDefender
26Shouvik GhoshDefender
5Rowilson RodriguesDefender
10Katsumi YusaMidfielder
17Ram MalikMidfielder
10Odafa Onyeka OkolieStriker
7Denson DevadasMidfielder
15C S SabeethStriker
25Christopher ChizobaStriker
2Aibor KhongjeeDefender
6Kingkshuk DebnathDefender
30Pankaj MoulaStriker
42Sandip NandyGoalkeeper
28Wahid SaliDefender
21Rajib GhoruiMidfielder
27Shaiju MonMidfielder
1Amrinder SinghGoalkeeper
4Calum AngusDefender
5Gurjinder KumarDefender
15Anas EdathodikaDefender
2Othallo TabiaDefender
8Arata IzumiMidfielder
11Douhou PierreMidfielder
26Fanai LalrempuiaMidfielder
7Mustapha RigaStriker
10James MeyerMidfielder
21Anthony D'SouzaMidfielder
22Arup DebnathGoalkeeper
6Shanmugam VenkateshMidfielder
13Zohmingliana RalteDefender
24Salam Ranjan SinghDefender
16Velington RochaMidfielder
23Mumtaz AkhtarMidfielder
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