AFC Cup: Bengaluru Host Mohun Bagan

Monday, 13 March 2017|Sunil A. Markal
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The two Indian heavyweights will lock horns again, this time in a continental battle when they play their opening game of the AFC Cup 2017…

AFC Cup finalists Bengaluru FC welcome domestic foes Mohun Bagan at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.


Previous games:

The duo played against each other not long ago on Saturday in the I-League, when they played out an entertaining but equally controversial 0-0 draw. The away side had a goal disallowed for handball, while the Blues felt the Mariners were lucky to end the game with ten men.


Traveling:

Since the Mariners travelled to Bangalore to play for the aforementioned I-League fixture, they have avoided travelling back to Kolkata.


Team morale:

Given the importance and the intensity of fixture, both the teams will be in high spirits. To add to this, both teams will feel they could have nicked the game on Saturday and will enter the pitch with revived mettle.


Preparations:

Both the sides have been training at the Bangalore Football Stadium.


Manager quotes:

Albert Roca, Bengaluru FC

Albert Roca acknowledged his sides’ good showing on Saturday while hoping to start the campaign of the competition they love playing in with a win.

“The game against Bagan was a tough one but I am very pleased with the way we took the fight to a good team that is contending for the League title. Let’s hope we can finish our chances on Tuesday. We have to try our best do to well and give our best and we hope to start our campaign tomorrow with a good result. The AFC Cup is a competition that we love. Everybody expects us to do well and circumstances are changing.”

Sanjoy Sen, Mohun Bagan

Sanjoy Sen, meanwhile, in the aftermath of Saturday’s game, said his side are yet to give the continental clash a thought, prioritizing the I-League.

''We have not thought of the AFC Cup yet. When we go back to the hotel, we will chalk out a plan,” he said.

Injury/Suspensions:

The home side are still without the injured Rino Anto, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, while Amrinder Singh was the latest casualty. The Mariners will miss the services of Debjit Majumder, who did not travel. No suspensions in either camp.


Predicted starting XI:

Bengaluru FC (4-3-3)

Roca might make a solitary change, bringing in their top scorer CK Vineeth in favour of Daniel Lalhlimpuia, otherwise keeping an unchanged side.


Mohun Bagan (4-4-2)

 

Sanjoy Sen might have a selection headache while selecting strikeforce. Jeje Lalpekhlua was dropped for Balwant Singh in the previous game, with the latter justifying his selection. It remains to be seen whom the 56-year-old picks, with Jeje likely to get a nod. Subhasish Bose will likely make way for Prabir Das at left back.


Prediction: 1-1

It will be a high octane game once again, with the home side fond of the competition of late. Expect them to be the better side of the two, backed by their vociferous support. And although the Sanjoy Sen seems to be the lesser keen manager of Tuesday’s game, they will not risk losing the same. 1-1 at the final whistle.