Bagan to battle Churchill in exciting I-League clash

Updated: Apr 20, 2013, 16:23 PM IST

Kolkata: On a four-match winning run, Mohun Bagan will be up against leaders Churchill Brothers in an exciting I-League fixture at the Kalyani Stadium on Sunday.

More than Mohun Bagan, it is the second-placed East Bengal who will benefit from their bitter foes` win as it would revive the red-and-gold`s diminishing title hopes.

East Bengal have a five-point deficit against Churchill (48) who also play a return leg match against Mohun Bagan in Goa on May 7.

But the green-and-maroon brigade are in no mood to compromise, even as their win will help East Bengal.

"We have to win at any cost. It`s a big team but that does not affect our confidence. The boys are keen to continue the winning run," coach Karim Bencherifa said on Saturday.

Mohun Bagan will miss Nigerian defender Echezona Anyichie, who was red-carded in their 3-2 win against Air India in the previous round.

But attack would be Mohun Bagan`s main strength with the in-form Odafa Okolie and Tolgay Ozbey finally hitting a purple patch.

CS Sabeeth would be the third forward as Mohun Bagan will stick to the 4-3-3 formation.

Having started their campaign afresh after being penalised, Mohun Bagan have 22 points from 21 matches and they require three more points to avoid relegation completely.

Beto may make a comeback to Churchill ranks, even as technical director Subhas Bhowmick is keeping his focus firm.

Despite opening up a five-point lead, Bhowmick believes the title is yet to be decided.

"I am very happy with the boys` character. Twice we went down and came back. With the chances we missed and the chances that were saved, we could have won," Bhowmick said about their 2-2 draw against Dempo in the previous round.

Churchill Brothers need at least four points to ensure the title and Bhowmick said, "Out of nine points, we have to get four points, if not five or six...

In such a scenario, East Bengal will be looking for second or a third place as Pune FC have two matches in hand," Bhowmick said.