Bagan to lock horns with Sporting Clube, sans some key players

Kolkata: Fresh from a come-from-behind win against HAL, Mohun Bagan take on a struggling Sporting Clube de Goa at home without several key players in a 10th round I-League fixture on Saturday.

Veteran Jose Barreto, picking a hamstring injury, became the latest to join the injured players` list which also has Sunil Chhetri, Hudson Lima and Ashim Biswas as Bagan will once again bank on the expertise of Odafa Okolie.

While Chhetri is still to recover from his injury sustained during the recently-concluded SAFF Championship, Lima and Biswas were yet not match-fit.

"The list of injuries do pose a problem with regard to team selection," coach Prasanta Banerjee said on the match eve.

In any case, Bagan, riding on an impressive 4-2 comeback against HAL Bangalore, will be looking for easy three points.

Talismanic striker Odafa, who has been their top scorer this season, said, "All the goals I have scored have been with the help of my teammates, without them I would not have been able to."

Without a win from last three outings, Sporting Clube de Goa would be looking to make amends. A 1-3 thrashing by Air India in the last round have taken them to the eighth spot on the table.

But that does not make Bagan complacent.

"Sporting are a good team. They have some good players in their side who can script the fate of a match single-handedly. We need to be cautious," the Bagan coach said.

Bagan have the same 19 points as third-placed East Bengal even as their arch-rivals are ahead on basis of their superior goal difference.

PTI

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