With both teams tied on eighteen points both teams need to win to begin their ascent from mid-table mediocrity...Karim Bencherifa faces his former side Salgaocar in the Round 17 of the I-League as it begins its second innings. Both Mohun Bagan and the Goan side are on 18 points each but Salgaocar do have a game in hand.
While Derrick Pereira's side did get off the blocks rather fast, in recent times they did stumble a bit with hitman Daryl Duffy not finding the net as often as he did before. In the reverse fixture held in Kolkata, it was Mohun Bagan who ended Salgaocar's blistering start to the league and bagged their first win of the season.
Pereira will certainly look to return the favour as they meet Mohun Bagan in Goa. However a disappointing showing in the Federation Cup where they ended with only four points at the end of three matches, crashing out from the group stage will certainly not add to the confidence of his wards.
Coincidentally, it was Mohun Bagan who secured their entry to the semi-finals when they held Salgaocar to a 1-1 draw in the final group stage encounter of the Federation Cup.
In the I-League too, Salgaocar have been in sorry form as in their last five encounters where they have gained only one point from a goal less draw against East Bengal. Pereira will certainly hope there is a change in fortunes and Daryl Duffy starts firing, adding to his tally of 8 goals. They have also roped in striker Dudu Omagbemi who shall look to entertain fans in India once again in his second stint in the country.
Meanwhile for the Mariners, Karim Bencherifa has been under a lot of flak as they were expected to win the Federation Cup after getting into the semi-finals but instead bowed out to eventual champions Churchill Brothers.
Team skipper and talisman, Odafa Okolie has also been vehemently criticized for his below par showing this season. He hasn't been in full fitness for quite some time and remains unavailable for the tie.
Both teams will look to gain three points as they aim to climb the table and leave the rut that they are currently in.
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