Bagan to lock horns with Viva Kerala

Kolkata: Hit by injury woes and key players rendered unavailable due to double bookings, Mohun Bagan take
on a spirited Viva Kerala in a Round 17 return-leg match of
the I-League at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Saturday.

Yet to register a win in their last five outings, Mohun
Bagan will miss Nigerian forward Edeh Chidi and central
midfielder Jayanta Sen because of double bookings.

The trio of Souvik Chakraborty, N Mohanraj and Manish
Maithani are indisposed while star Brazilian striker Jose
Ramirez Barreto and India international stopper Anwar Ali are
not fully fit to figure in the Mohun Bagan starting line-up,
having just recovered from injuries.

It will be interesting to see how technical director
Subhas Bhowmick uses his limited resources against the Kerala
outfit who are high on confidence after a valiant draw against
Pune FC.

Down 0-4 after 41 minutes, Viva Kerala bounced back to
hold Pune FC.

All eyes would again be on last match`s hero Anil Kumar
and Nigerian striker Felix who had scored a brace each in
their superb draw, while the experienced N P Pradeep and
Nigerian defender Bello Razaq will be the other vital cogs for
the Kerala side.

That the draw came after their 7-1 thumping win over Air
India at home will again boost the morale of the visiting side
as they take on a struggling Mohun Bagan, who last won against
debutants Indian Arrows in a Round 11 fixture more than a
month ago.

Viva Kerala will also have another edge in their 2-0 win
over Mohun Bagan in the first-leg.

In absence of Chidi, Mohun Bagan will largely depend on
another Nigerian in Subair Muritala Ali who in all likelihood
will steer the forward alongwith captain Ishfaq Ahmed.

On paper, Mohun Bagan (22 points) at sixth place are way
ahead of Viva Kerala (12) who occupy the 12th slot in the
14-team I-League table.