I-League 2019/20: Table toppers Mohun Bagan ready to face defending champions Chennai
XtraTime Web Desk: Defending champions Chennai City FC will be hosting Kolkata giants and table-toppers Mohun Bagan at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on Friday (January 31), as the 13th Hero I-League season approaches its half-way mark.
In last Hero I-League season, Chennai were undefeated against Mohun Bagan with a win 3-1 at home before snatching a 1-1 away draw in Kolkata.
The hosts are up against it given they are placed ninth on the table this season after just two wins from seven games. The contrast is stark given their Friday visitors are in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten run and have lost a game over one and a half month back.
Mohun Bagan have certainly been awe-inspiring far with six wins out of nine games. They are on top of all key departments of the game having scored maximum goals (17), conceded least (7) as well as have kept five clean sheets, three more than the next teams on that count.
Speaking before the match Chennai City FC attacker Adolfo ‘Fito’ Miranda said, “I believe the team has had one last defeat after the good away win against Gokulam Kerala where the team had shown much improvement.”
“The beautiful thing about football is that we have a chance again this Friday to win against Mohun Bagan and we have shown the people what we believe in. We hope to give our best and be able to win the match to gradually get closer to the top half of the table, is what the Chennai City aspires.”
Akbar Nawas, the Chennai City gaffer will be worried about his team’s backline who have conceded 12 goals so far. In the previous game against Quess East Bengal, their defenders were under perpetual threat where they had to swallow a 0-2 defeat at home.
Given Mohun Bagan’s attacking options in former La Liga striker Baba Diawara, Spanish creative midfielder Joseba Beitia and attacking left-winger Nongdamba Naorem as well as Fran Gonzales, Chennai will have to have a more organised defence line.
Chennai have bolstered their attacking options, bringing in Swiss forward Jan Mizunga, who made his debut in the Quess East Bengal game and the hosts will be hoping he will have a greater impact on Friday’s game than he had in the loss against QEB.
Mohun Bagan gaffer Kibu Vicuna praised Chennai City FC, “Chennai City are the defending champion. They have a good team, who pass the ball around with good composure they have and a group of good players. It is going to be a very difficult game for us.”
The match will be telecast live on 1Sports, Kolkata TV and streamed on FanCode and from 7:00 PM IST.