I-League 2019-20: Mohun Bagan test for struggling Chennai City

The defending champion has just two wins from seven games and will hope to put up a good show at home against Bagan.

Gearing up: Players belonging to Chennai City FC train in Coimbatore. - AIFF MEDIA

Defending champion Chennai City FC will have to dish out something extra special if it has to get past a mighty Mohun Bagan in the I-League clash scheduled to kick off at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

The Mariners are in top form this season, having won six out of the nine matches they have played so far. Interestingly, the team has also scored the most number of goals (17) while conceding only seven. Chennai City, on the other hand, has won just two and is precariously placed (ninth) on the points table.

Also Read | Feel cheated by AIFF, says Punjab FC owner Bajaj

Obviously, everybody expects it to be a cakewalk for the the visiting side.

“We are going to play against a team that will have to win if it needs to stay at the top. They are the favourites and so there’s not going to be much pressure on us,” Akbar Nawas, Chennai City’s head coach, said.

“Mohun Bagan is a complete team and is good in both defence and attack. It has got a good coach and works very hard. It has also got a good bench. It is now up to us to go out there and open the title race by winning it,” he added.

He said the match will serve as the best platform for his players to prove a point. “We should step up and show what we can do. I have told my boys to enjoy the game, but play to win.”

The defeat at the hands of East Bengal last week must have hurt the team much. “We were unlucky. If only we had the chances we would have won the game. When I went through the video clippings it was clear we did well. We had so much positives in the game and, videos don’t lie,” he said.

After the game, the team did some analysing too. “We looked into every single detail in that match. I did some pep talk as well with the players and tried to motivate them. We need to work on a lot many thing but I have belief in my players, the Club and in what we do. Maybe it is just taking some time,” said Akbar.

“Also, whenever there is a defeat you can only go up,” he quickly added.