United SC have a tough set of fixtures ahead in their bid to save relegation starting with taking on a struggling Mohun Bagan side at the Kalyani stadium before they fly to Goa...
United Sports Club are in a do or die encounter against local rivals Mohun Bagan at the Kalyani Stadium in a Round 25 I-League encounter.
While both clubs are in the bottom half of the table, the Mariners are in a better position with 24 points while the Purple Brigade are still very much in the race for going down with 22 points from 21 matches. While Mohammedan Sporting and Churchill Brothers are indeed below them with 18 points but things might change very soon especially with a tough set of fixtures coming up.
United SC need a positive result on Sunday before they go over to take on Churchill next in what is a sure six pointer for survival.
The financial difficulties and the lack of a title sponsor has done them no favours as they had to let go their chief coach, Eelco Schattorie and star striker, Ranti Martins for a lack of funds. While surviving is the only goal left for the club it might come as an important motivator at the right time.
They have failed to win any of their last 12 matches in the I-League which highlights their poor form.
Under the helm of Mohun Bagan legend Subrata Bhattacharya, United SC will look to snatch a victory against the Green and Maroon brigade.
The Mariners have had an indifferent season as they failed to string together a series of consistent displays as they faltered when they started hitting all the right notes. A team which was destined at the start of the season to be near the top has been hovering dangerously close to the drop zone.
Injuries throughout the season has done Karim Bencherifa no favours especially when one of them is his chief tormentor, Odafa Okolie who has only played a peripheral role entire season. A creditable away win to Sporting Clube de Goa was followed by a disappointing home loss against Bengaluru FC.
Clearly lacking motivation, it is up to Bencherifa to motivate his wards as they play for pride and bragging rights against their local rivals. Thankfully he will have all four foreigners available to him and it is only Aiborlang Khongjee who will be unavailable due to a niggle.
“We are still not fully safe and thus this will be a match of survival for both teams. We need the three points as not many matches are left for us,” said Bencherifa.
United SC need to get a win at this crucial stage to get them out of the relegation battle as their next two encounters against Churchill and East Bengal will be more difficult with both teams having high stakes.