Durand Cup 2019: Mohun Bagan vs Real Kashmir FC | Match Preview, Team News, Predicted XI, Live Streaming details
16-time champions Mohun Bagan will face a stiff challenge from a jubilant Real Kashmir FC squad when they will lock horns in the semi-final of the Durand Cup on Wednesday evening at the Salt Lake Stadium. The green and maroon brigade has won all their matches so far, but they would have been happier if they had done it more convincingly. On the other hand, Real Kashmir FC made a cut to a top-four with a superior goal difference than FC Goa, after both of them were tied on 7 points.
Mohun Bagan benched several players in their last group match against the Indian Navy. Debutant Subho Ghosh had a memorable debut, he is certainly a future star, but it is likely that Spanish forward Salva Chamorro will start in the upcoming match. VP Suhair, as usual, may play as the second striker. But, it will be interesting to see if he gives Subho Ghosh a few minutes on Wednesday.
Joseba Beitia, who was ailing an injury is expected to make a comeback to the team. The playmaker has been the main architect in the midfield for Bagan this season, his contributions will be more than useful for the ‘The Mariners’ in the semi-final. Alexander Romario Jesuraj and Nongdomba Naorem will play from either side of the wings.
The defence has been the main worry in the Bagan camp so far, they have tried various combinations, but none of them worked out. On the brighter side, Fran Morante, their best stopper this season will be available. Kim Kima or Sukhdev Singh may partner him at the centre of defence. Arijit Bagui and Dhanachandra Singh will operate as full-backs if Kibu Vicuna doesn’t make a change.
Real Kashmir FC
Real Kashmir FC has played against Mohun Bagan only at the Salt Lake Stadium, a match they won 2-1. It was the early this year, during the 2018-19 I-League. But this is a different scenario altogether. Although Mason Robertson is not a part of the squad, but they have the firepower to topple the 16-champions. Playmaker Aaron Katebe has been a stalwart for them in the midfield along with Ivorian Bazie Armand, who has been phenomenal for the ‘snow leopards’.
Veteran Indian striker Subhash Singh has been a priceless inclusion to the squad this season. Meanwhile, players like Danish Farooq and Chesterpaul Lynghdoh will play supporting acts. Real Kashmir FC defeated I-League champions Chennai City FC in the group stages and thrashed Army Green 4-0 in their second game. Mohun Bagan will have to bring out the best to pass the hurdle against an upbeat Real Kashmir FC in the semi-final clash.
The Spaniard will hold the cards for Bagan in the midfield once again. So far, he has been the most clinical player for them this season. The tall and sturdy playmaker binds the midfield together, distributes the ball to the final third. Beitia has even scored a goal for Bagan during the group stage clash against ATK. The dead-ball specialist also provides great support to the defenders, which makes him such an important player.
The Manipuri has been a mainstay in the Indian top flight for more than a decade now. He is vastly experienced and has been a part of numerous crunch games during his illustrious career. Mainly operating from the wings, the pacey winfger is known for raiding into the opponents’ defence with his runs. After a three-year stint with NEROCA FC, he signed for Real Kashmir FC before the season. Subhash scored a goal for the Snow Leopards in their 4-0 rout over Army Green in the group stages. He is capable of making a difference in the upcoming fixture.
Mohun Bagan: Debjit Majumder (gk), Dhanachandra Singh, Ashutosh Mehta/Arijit Bagui, Fran Morante, Sukhdev Singh, Imran Khan, Joseba Beitia, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Nongdomba Naorem, VP Suhair, Salva Chamorro
Real Kashmir FC: Purba Tempa Lachenpa (gk), Farhan Ganie, Loveday Okechukwu, Muhammad Hammad, Danish Farooq, Aaron Katebe, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, Bazie Armand, Khalid Qayum, Ritwik Kumar Das, Subhash Singh
Real Kashmir FC
Mohun Bagan vs Real Kashmir FC
Date: 21th August 2019
Kick-off: 7:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports 3, Hotstar, addatimes app, addatimes.com
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
It is expected to be a close encounter between the two I-League sides, although Mohun Bagan will get a home advantage, which will act as their 12th man. The Mariners will be backed by thousands of passionate supporters who will be present at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Predicted score: Mohun Bagan 2-1 Real Kashmir FC