After the controversial Kolkata derby, the Mariners are set for their first assignment against lowly Salgaocar. Can they make a positive beginning and put a rest to all the drama?
Nicolau, Augustin, Rahul,Fulganco;
Francis, Wilkinson, Rocus, Brian;
The Goan side are in desperate need of points given that they have never really recovered from the instability at the start of the season. David Booth had complained about a lack of depth in the squad but has bought in three experienced players in John Wilkinson, OJ Obatola and Josimar Martins. It will be interesting to see if the new boys in Booth's team get any sort of playing time in this crucial match.
This match also marks the return of former Salgaocar coach Karim Bencherifa as he plots against his former employers. The current Bagan coach had quit earlier in the season as he found the job at Mohun Bagan too hard to resist.
The Mariners will be without their inspirational captain and top goal scorer of the season, Odafa Okolie as he serves his provisional two match suspension. Bagan will start with a tally of 0 points from 10 games as their Moroccan coach will have to guide the Kolkatan outfit out of the relagation zone. Ironically it was Bencherifa who guided Salgaocar out of troubled waters in 2009-10 season where he faced a similar yet daunting task.
It should be a closely contested encounter and the hosts would like to make their home advantage count. The Mariners on the other hand would like to send a message to their critics with a good performance and would like to rejoin India's Premier Division with a bang.
Salgaocar FC: John Wilkinson, OJ Obatola and Josimar Martins should be available for selection for Salgaocar, having joined the club during the January window. Captain Luciano Sobrosa remains a doubtful starter as well.
Mohun Bagan: Mohun Bagan's captain Odafa Okolie will not be available, as he serves his suspension. Except the Nigerian, Bencherifa has no injury or suspension worries.
|DID YOU KNOW?
- Salgaocar has failed to beat Mohun Bagan in the last 5 meetings with 2 defeats and 3 draws.
- Mohun Bagan will have to start from 0 points in 10 games as per the decision of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
- If Mohun Bagan's points wouldn't have deducted they would have been above Salgaocar as they would have a tally of 12 points from 10 games as compared to Salgaocar's 11 points from 15 games
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