Struggling Bagan take on relegation-threatened Mohd Sporting
Kolkata: Relegation-threatened Mohammedan Sporting and another I-League laggards Mohun Bagan take on each other for bragging rights in a Round 20 encounter of the I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium here tomorrow.
The two Kolkata giants have met three times this season in three different competitions but it has ended all square in each occasion including the goalless stalemate in the I-League first leg November last.
Last week, Mohammedan Sporting ended a sequence of four straight I-League defeats by beating title-chasing Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1. The Black and Whites managed to win despite playing with 10 men for the entire second half after Mehrajuddin Wadoo was sent off and thus suspended for tomorrow`s clash.
Coach Sanjoy Sen would be eager for his side to stay away from relegation and build on the win over Sporting Clube with a good run of results.
"It was good to get back to winning ways but we must keep playing well and record a few more victories to improve our position," Sen said.
Mohammedan Sporting are only a point above the one relegation spot and trail Mohun Bagan by four points but they have played two games less.
Mohun Bagan will be involved in an I-League derby for the second straight game as they had played out a 1-1 draw against arch-rivals East Bengal in the last round. They have failed to win any of their three matches after the I-League break and thus would be desperate to win tomorrow`s match.
The Green-and-Maroon brigade are set to welcome back skipper Odafa Okolie from injury but it remains to be seen whether the Nigerian starts against his former club.
"It is good to have Odafa back. I am confident that he will do well and help us move into the top half of the table," Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa stated.
Neither club has any hope of winning the league title but unlike Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting have lifted a couple of trophies this season already.
Historically though, Mohun Bagan have the slight edge head-to-head as they have recorded the only win in three previous I-League meetings.