I-League: Chennai City FC focuses on consolidating the lead

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, would look to grab three more points under its belt and take the fifth position on the table, leapfrogging Neroca FC.

The first leg match between Chennai City FC and Mohun Bagan had ended in a 1-1 draw.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Table-toppers Chennai City FC would look to consolidate its lead at the top when it faces sixth-placed Mohun Bagan in an I-League fixture here on Sunday.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, would look to grab three more points under its belt and take the fifth position on the table, leapfrogging Neroca FC.

The first leg between Chennai City FC and Mohun Bagan in Kolkata ended in a 1-1 draw. Mohun Bagan took the lead through Sony Norde before Nestor Gordillo Benitez restored the parity for the Chennai-based side.

Chennai City FC’s Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas, who is known to make his team play attacking football, is expected to be strengthening his defence which was exposed in its game against Neroca FC, which ended in a nerve-racking 3-3 draw.

However, a convincing 4-2 win against Shillong Lajon FC in its last encounter will only add to its confidence moving into the important game against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan.

“We have an important game tomorrow and since we are in the top of the league, there’s no reason for not going for it and win the match and eventually, the title,” Chennai City coach Akbar Nawas said.

“Sriram and Shahabaz Alam are back from their injuries and that will be significant especially, before such an important game.”

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, would want to make the most out of Chennai’s fragile defence line to hand the leaders its third defeat this season.

Mohun Bagan, which is quick on the counter would like to use its capability to the maximum through Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisseka as forwards and a lethal combination of Sony Norde and Omar Elhussieny in the midfield.

However, Khalid Jamil might be wary of his defense line against the deadly attacking force comprising of Pedro Manzi, Sandro Rodriguez and Nestor Gordillo.

“In the match against Chennai, we will be trying to give chances to everybody. Some players might take rest and we may play with new formations. We have to fight as we fought before and we will play as a complete team,” Mohun Bagan coach Khalid Jamil said.

“Chennai are at the top of the league and they are a good team. They have good Indian players, good foreigners and they play good in home matches.”