By Debabrata Majmder
KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan seek redemption when they face Peerless Sports Club in an CFL Premier Division – A encounter at Mohun Bagan Ground on Monday.
Having been defeated Mohun Bagan 2-0 at a pre-season friendly earlier in the season, Peerless will fancy their chances heading into the game while The Mariners looks to set the record straight.
Going into the game Mohun Bagan, who are currently at second spot on 12 points from 4 outings, will be looking for all three points as a positive result will take them ahead of East Bengal to the summit on goal difference, whereas Peerless, who are on fourth position with 7 points, will be eager to upset the mighty Mohun Bagan to give themselves a chance to make a top three finish.
Mohun Bagan won their first two games of the league rather convincingly 5-1 and 4-0 against Aryan Club and George Telegraph respectively but their performance level dipped in next two games against Southern Samity and Bhawanipore Club. Although, Mohun Bagan registered a 1-0 victory in both but those were a bit unconvincing than the first two.
“The match is an important one for us. Even though we have won all our previous matches but every match is a new challenge and Peerless will be a tough opponent,” Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakrabarty said on the eve of the clash.
On the team news front, Bagan coach is expected to shuffle his starting line-up as Afghan defender Zohib Islam Amiri could make his first start of the season replacing Tonmoy Ghosh and skipper Raju Gaikwad is likely to switch his position with the right-back. While the newest foreign acquisition Daniel Bidemi will start on the bench.
Peerless, on the other hand, started their campaign with a goaless draw against Tollygunge Agragami. Then they went on to beat Aryan 3-0 before going down 0-2 against East Bengal. However, the Fuja Tope-led side bounced back to the winning ways with a 2-1 win over United Sports Club in their last match.
Coach Fuja Tope will be relying heavily on the strike pair of Rahim Nabi and Ghanefo Kromah to penetrate the Bagan defense, while the likes of Argha Chakraborty, Sukhwinder Singh, Arijit Bagui and Irfan Khan would form the spine of the team with Nigerian Ugochukwu Godswill leading the defense line.
“Peerless is a very good side and they have some good players like Nabi, Argha and Sukhwinder with a very experienced coach in Fuja Tope but I have full faith on our team and I am hopeful for a positive result tomorrow,” coach Sankarlal added.
For the record, last time when these two faced off in a competitive match it was in the 2013/14 CFL Premier Division which eneded in a 2-2 stalemate at Saltlake Stadium.