A rampant Mohun Bagan would look to consolidating their position atop the I-League leader board when they visit Goan football club Salgaocar at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Saturday.
Bagan have been unbeaten in the season so far and are a point clear of second-placed East Bengal, who are on 17 points. Salgaocar are No.8 on the nine-team table with just five points and they would hope for a turnaround in their backyard against the Kolkata giants.
The defending champions come into the encounter at the back of a 5-2 thrashing of Maldivian side Maziya as the two sides met for an AFC Cup tie in Guwahati on Wednesday. Forwards Jeje Lalpekhlua and Trinidadian marksman Cornell Glen scored a brace each while Sony Norde was the one who netted the opener.
In their last I-League game, Mohun Bagan edged past Sporting Clube De Goa courtesy of a strike from captain Katsumi Yusa who earned them three very crucial points. They have already beaten title rivals Bengaluru FC in the league and would be oozing with confidence as they take on the hosts.
Salgaocar, on the other hand, have won just one out of their last five matches. They have drawn two and lost the other two contests. In their last game, Salgaocar suffered a 1-2 defeat to East Bengal but prior to that they had beaten newcomers DSK Shivajians 3-2.
Though Santosh Kashyap’s men have been able to get on the scoresheet frequently with the likes of Darryl Duffy but their defence has been a major worry. The Salgaocar tactician would hope his men can keep the likes of Norde and Glen away when take lock horns in the Goan coastal city.
Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen has been able to pull the trigger when needed this season. He has introduced players at the right time and relied on his most trusted footballers to deliver the goods and they have done so with aplomb.
However, the match is going to be played in front of a strong contingent of Salgaocar fans. Egged on by the vociferous supporters, Salgaocar might just be able to produce their A-game.