Coimbatore, Feb 6 (IANS) A rejuvenated Mohun Bagan will aim to keep their title chances alive when they take on relegation-threatened Chennai City FC in an I-League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
After a dreadful first leg earlier in the season when the team experienced a series of disappointing results, Mohun Bagan have finally found their form and are back in the title race.
They have won two of their last three matches which includes a brilliant derby triumph over arch-rivals East Bengal and a 3-0 away win over Shillong Lajong FC.
Revenge will be on Mohun Bagan’s mind when they face Chennai City on Wednesday.
The former I-League champions have lost only two matches in the season so far and one of those defeats came against Chennai City at their home ground.
Incidentally, the defeat against Chennai on January 2 in Kolkata marked the end of Sanjoy Sen’s three-year stint as Bagan’s head coach. Sankarlal Chakraborty took charge 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. 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.”
“We have no special plans. Our aim is to earn maximum points from every match. In the current situation, every match for us is a final match,” the Mohun Bagan coach added.
It is a must-win game for both sides but for different reasons. While a win will keep Sankarlal’s men 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, Chennai coach V. Soundararajan said: “We defeated Mohun Bagan with ten men. We understand that they will want to take revenge.”
“They will go for the attack right from the kickoff whistle. We are eagerly waiting to face Mohun Bagan, one of the giants of Indian football,” he added.
Asked about being in the relegation zone, the Chennai coach admitted that winning against Mohun Bagan will be crucial in order to extend his team’s stay in the top division.
“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,” he said.