Pune: Air India would host McDowells Mohun Bagan in the 21st round I League encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Monday. Bagan who have 37 points from 20 matches, nine points behind runaway league leaders Dempo would try to consolidate its position in the current league table.
Air India who stays clear of the relegation zone with 27 points from 20 outings have nothing to lose unlike the Mariners. However, Bagan will be too tough for Air India to handle as they have galaxy of stars which includes Sunil Chhetri, Odafa Okolie, Shilton Paul, Rakesh Masih, Snehasish Chakraborty, Syed Rahim Nabi, NP Pradeep and Asim Biswas.
Mohun Bagan head coach Prasanta Kumar Banerjee, is in no mood to take any risk, “Air India is a capable side, they can always play a spoiler on a given day. We need to stay alert,” he said.
Air India on the other hand have no option but to go all out against the Mariners. However, head-to-head history tells a different story altogether. In the five League face-offs, Air India drew once and lost on other four occasions. The latest being 3-1 beating at Salt Lake Stadium on December 28th.
For Airmen Defender Lamine Tamba and Ramandeep Singh have always been up to the task, while Henry Ezeh and Sandesh Gadkari must combine well upfront to carry raids against the Mariners at Balewadi Stadium.
Air India has virtually nothing to lose, while a lot is at stake for Mohun Bagan, which should make the tie interesting.
By Indian Sports News Network