Kolkata: Without a win from five matches and time running out fast for them, a beleaguered Mohun Bagan will face a make or break situation when they face local rivals United SC in a round 12 I-League match here on Friday.
In United SC, who are four points from the pole position, Mohun Bagan have a stiff opposition, especially when their ace marksman Odafa Okolie is yet to score from three matches, while coach Karim Bencherifa is under pressure to bring a turnaround.
Despite all the backing that Bencherifa has from the club management, the time is running out for the chief coach from Morocco too.
Having released Eric Muranda, Mohun Bagan will hope that the Peerless SC recruit Christopher Chizoba brings some luck with Odafa in the upfront.
Both sides failed to win in the previous round, but they had highly contrasting results as Mohun Bagan were beaten 0-2 at home by debutatnts Rangdajied United, who moved out of the bottom spot.
The result extended Mohun Bagan`s current winless run to five matches and they have managed to score just once in this sequence to be slipped to 11th position in the 13-team table.
Meanwhile, United SC became the first side to score away at Pune FC this season as they came from behind to hold the home side 1-1.
But they were not in a mood to underestimate the Maidan heavyweights.
"Their (Mohun Bagan) backs are against the wall. They will come hard at us. I am 100 per cent sure about that. We cannot afford to take them lightly. I want Ranti to score. He hasn`t been getting goals of late. So it will not be bad if he gets one on Friday," United SC coach Eelco Schattorie said.
United SC lead the I-League head-to-head record with five wins, three defeats and two draws and are unbeaten in the last six against Mohun Bagan.