Clash Of The Titans: Mohun Bagan Cross Sword With Bengaluru
With another clash of titans looming just a day away, the fans of both the clubs have already waged a social war against each other in every rostrum possible. With three Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC vies on the trot, the fans are all fired up to witness a delectable encounter.
With Bengaluru wringing out a narrow victory after pipping Bagan by 2 goals to 1 in their AFC cup match, Bagan will be eyeing vengeance in this imminent fixture. However, the task will be cut out for Bagan as Bengaluru are very well placed mentally before going into this bout.
Udanta Singh, one of the most promising players of I-League for this season has been breathing fire on the pitch. His breakneck and unrelenting speed laced with some brilliant pace controlling moves has been a consistent bane for most of the players. His stunning run on the counter laid the bedrock for Sunil Chettri’s goal against Myanmar.
With Subhasish Bose already out for a red card in the previous match, Sanjoy Sen may have to resort to Shouvik Ghosh, who hasn’t been up to the mark for the only match that he has played this season. This will lead to Anas being triggered to excessive workload which may leave a void in the defensive third.
Given the area covered by Anas in the defensive third, too much of workload on him can leave the Bagan defense in shambles if Eduardo fails to deliver. Eduardo hasn’t been consistent like he used to be in ISL. He has drifted in and out of brilliance which has left Bagan in tatters for few times.
Bengaluru also has the likes of Indian skipper Sunil Chettri and C. K. Vineeth in their ranks who can single-handedly exterminate any given rearguard on their heydays. Vineeth’s proclivity for long rangers and his incisive precision in converting them will keep Debjit Majumdar on his toes. Eduardo and Anas will have to be impregnable in the central defense to thwart Vineeth from scoring.
Bagan also needs to keep in mind that Vineeth is also an effective poacher at times and a gaffe in the goalmouth can cost them the entire match.
A probable 4 men defense of Bagan must have the likes of Pritam Kotal down the right, Anas and Eduardo in the center and either of Shouvik Ghosh or Raju Gaikwad down the left. Whoever gets the nod will have the most elusive task of containing Udanta Singh.
Contrapuntal to Bengaluru’s attacking options Bagan has also got the likes of Anas Edathodika and Brazilian Eduardo Ferreira in their ranks. Anas has been one of the most consistent defenders after joining Bagan and has delivered gilt-edged performances day in day out. He was also a member of the Indian side that managed to eke out a hard-fought victory against Myanmar. No matter how explosive the Bengaluru attacking line seems to be, Mohun Bagan has got weapons to diffuse them and take a step towards the championship bout.
Coming to the midfield, this is going to be the most creative battle of all. With Cameron Watson, Lenny Rodrigues, Eugenson Lyngdoh, to grapple for Bengaluru, Mohun Bagan will be possibly fielding Sehnaj Singh, Katsumi Yusa, Souvik Chakraborty and Sony Norde to cross swords with their Bengaluru counterparts.
Pronay Halder would definitely have been Sanjoy Sen’s first choice to spike Bengaluru’s attacking plans, however, since he isn’t completely fit yet, chances for him to start the game seems bleak. Sen will have to make the best use of Sehnaj Singh. Singh on his heyday can be a real challenge for his opponents but at times he simply fizzles out in the upper air. Sehnaj is known for his physical style of playing, whose efficacy is of paramount importance to thwart Cameron Watson and Eugenson Lyngdoh’s creativity in the midfield.
In the absence of Subhasish Bose, Sen will likely have to field Azharuddin Mallick as the U-22 player.
Things wouldn’t be a stroll in the park for the BFC rearguard either as they will be up against Norde, the Haitian talisman who can run rings around his opposition with his prowess of crisp dribbling skills laced with his untenable runs down the left.
Katsumi on the other end is another fearsome customer who can run tirelessly right till the final whistle and has a wide-range of moves that span from quick runs down the midfield to defence-splitting passes.
Finally, we will sneak a peek at the most infectious encounter which will transpire in the defensive third of Bengaluru. With two most dynamic names in the defense, Bengaluru FC will continue to scare the Bagan attacking line. John Johnson and Sandesh Jhingan, will meet the crushing force the Bagan attack. Duffy has been in goals and has also been industrious enough to create a few goals for his team. His sturdy stature will make life difficult for the Bengaluru defense.
With Amrinder Singh and Debjit Majumdar under the woodwork for the respective outfits, both the teams will need the best of their players to log full points.
A couple of substitutions which will be eyed by both the preceptors are going to Prabir Das for Mohun Bagan due to his relentless speed and his centers down the right. Marjan Jugovic will be the super-sub for Bengaluru if Roca chooses to go all guns blazing at the Bagan defense.
No matter what, we are all in for one of the best encounters of Indian football.