Minerva Punjab vs Mohun Bagan A.C. Match Preview
Having drawn with Shillong Lajong FC in Shillong on Wednesday, it’s vital for Mohun Bagan to avoid dropping points when they take on Minerva Punjab FC at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday. Sitting at the top of the table with 30 points from 15 matches, and ahead of Aizwal FC only on head-to-head advantage, Bagan need a win before facing fellow title-contenders Aizwal FC in Aizwal next Saturday.
Dropping points won’t put Mohun Bagan out of the title race, but the team as well as the fans are aware of the importance of victory. The buildup to Saturday’s game, which will be Mohun Bagan’s third in seven days, has been marred by controversies. The Kolkata side was unhappy with the practice slot given to them by the home team and had even threatened to boycott the match-eve training session. Ultimately they do change their mind and had a feel of the ground around noon on Friday.
Mohun Bagan’s Scottish striker Duffy needs to break his record of not scoring in away games. Duffy has scored all his seven goals at Rabindra Sarovar Stadium, including a brave in the first-leg clash against Minerva Punjab.
Sony Norde, as always, will be a key man for Mohun Bagan. The Haitian skillsman, after producing a match-winning display against East-Bengal in Siliguri, had an off day in Shillong and looked a bit jaded.
It’s imperative that Sony and Katsumi Yusa, the Mohun Bagan skipper, function cohesively in the midfield and put the Minerva defence — led by the Kareem Omolaja and Loveday Okechukwu — under pressure.
Mohun Bagan are likely to field the same 11, the only change being the reinstatement of Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Minerva Punjab lie second from bottom, with 12 points from 15 matches, but they have improved since the 0-4 loss to Mohun Bagan in January. Sen’s men also need to keep an eye on striker Victor Amobi as well as the young duo of Anirudh Thapa and Baoringdao Bodo.
Date: April 15, 2017
Time: 19:05 (IST)
Venue: Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana
TV Details: Ten 2 ( INDIA )
Live Stream: Sony LIV app, JIO TV