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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Chennai City face uphill battle against rejuvenated Mohun Bagan in I-League

Chennai City will host Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in Coimbatore on Wednesday.

football Updated: Feb 06, 2018 18:39 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Coimbatore
Mohun Bagan players train ahead of their I-League clash against Chennai City FC in Coimbatore on Wednesday.
Mohun Bagan players train ahead of their I-League clash against Chennai City FC in Coimbatore on Wednesday.(AIFF)

A rejuvenated Mohun Bagan will start hands down favourites against the relegation threatened Chennai City FC when the two sides clash in an I-League match here tomorrow.

After a dreadful first leg of the season where the team experienced a series of disappointing results, Mohun Bagan have finally found their form and are back in the title race.

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They have won two out of their last three matches including a brilliant derby win over rivals East Bengal and a 3-0 away win over Shillong Lajong.

Revenge will be on Bagan’s mind when they face Chennai City tomorrow. The club has lost only two matches in the season so far and one of those defeats came against V Soundararajan’s men at their home ground.

Incidentally, the defeat against Chennai on January 2 marked the end of Sanjoy Sen’s three-year-long stint as Bagan head coach. Sankarlal Chakraborty took charges of the team thereafter.

Speaking about the first leg defeat, Sankarlal said, “I don’t think it was an upset. Chennai City played very well. But this can happen in a league. In the present situation, we don’t have an option.

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“We have to win tomorrow. It will not be easy. They have a good combination of Indian and foreign players. Their coach is a very intelligent man,” he added.

It is a must-win game for both the sides but for different reasons. While a win would keep Sankarlal’s team in the title race, three points would push Chennai out of the relegation zone and send them to the seventh position in the league table.

Since their win in Kolkata, Chennai City have managed four draws and conceded two defeats.

Speaking about his team’s preparation ahead of the match, coach V Soundararajan said, “We defeated Mohun Bagan with 10 men. We understand that they will want to take revenge. They will go for the attack right from the kickoff whistle.

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“We are eagerly waiting to face Mohun Bagan, one of the giants of Indian football. If we Mohun Bagan again we get to do double.”

On being in the relegation zone, the Chennai coach said the side hasn’t given up yet.

“If we can beat Mohun Bagan it will be better for us. The match against Churchill Brothers will be the deciding match. We obviously want to avoid relegation. We have to win matches, go all out.”

With their new found form, the Green and Maroons look very strong and are favourites to bag full points from this away fixture.

First Published: Feb 06, 2018 18:39 IST

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