Mariners have failed to win any of their three matches after the break
AGENCIES
Kolkata, 7 March
Mohammedan Sporting Club take on Mohun Bagan in a Round 20 encounter of the Airtel I-League at Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Mohammedan Sporting Club are only one point above the one relegation spot and trail Mohun Bagan by four points but they have played two fewer games.
The two Kolkata giants have met thrice in this season in three different competitions, all of which, including the goalless stalemate in the I-League back in November, ended inconclusively.
Last week, Mohammedan Sporting Club ended a sequence of four straight I-League defeats by beating title-chasing Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1. The black-and-white brigade managed to win that one despite playing with 10 men for the entire second half as Mehrajuddin Wadoo had been sent off and would thus be suspended for this clash.
Coach Sanjoy Sen, eager to stave off relegation, wants to build on that win over Sporting Clube with a good run of results. “It was good to get back to winning ways but we must keep playing well and record a few more victories to improve our position,” Sen was quoted as saying.
Mohun Bagan will be involved in a local derby for a second straight game as they came from behind to hold arch-rivals East Bengal to a 1-1 stalemate in the last round.
The Mariners have failed to win any of their three matches after the I-League break and thus are desperate to win this clash.
They are set to welcome back skipper Odafa Okolie from a prolonged injury-related absence but it remains to be seen whether the Nigerian finds himself in his club’s first-choice 11.
“It is good to have Odafa back. I am confident that he will do well and help us move into the top half of the table,” Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa stated.
Neither can win the league title but unlike Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting Club have already taken home a couple of trophies in this season. already. This fixture promises to be another tight contest between the two local rivals in which a moment of magic or an individual error could prove to be the decisive factor. At Margao, Sporting Clube de Goa go up against Dempo Sports Club. Pune FC host Shillong Lajong FC and Bengaluru FC take on Churchill.