Dempo look to consolidate lead

Kolkata: Mohun Bagan`s home advantage notwithstanding, leaders Dempo would look to consolidate their position when the two top sides clash in a round 22 I-League match at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Sunday.

It is a must-win game for struggling Mohun Bagan as a loss would shatter their slender title hopes.

With five more rounds remaining in the league, Dempo stay five points clear of second-placed East Bengal, while Mohun Bagan (38) lie in the third spot.

Dempo had handed Mohun Bagan a 5-0 whitewash in the first leg but coach Armando Colaco said that`s history.

"We have to earn three points, that`s the objective. The 5-0 result is all past. We have an eight-point advantage (against Mohun Bagan) and we would look to extend our lead," he said.

Their ace forward Ranty Martins, who is said to be switching allegiance to Prayag United in the upcoming season, would once again be at the helm of striking.

But Mohun Bagan have their back-up plan ready to tackle the Nigerian, by holding off the supply line that consists of Clifford Miranda and Climax Lawrence.

Mohun Bagan`s Rakesh Masih sustained an injury during today`s practice that required four stitches, but the defender said he would be fit for tomorrow.

It remains to be seen how the fragile defence of Mohun Bagan live up to the challenge, especially after the team escaped with a 2-2 draw against Air India in the last round.

Brazilian Jose Barreto, who would start along with Odafa Okolie and Hudson Lima, said, "I am all excited. We have three (Anwar Ali, Surkumar Singh and Syed Rahim Nabi) from India team in our defence. I`m confident that they would take up the challenge."


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