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I-League: Bengaluru FC welcome defending champions Mohun Bagan in a crunch clash

Bengaluru currently occupy the top position in the league with 15 points, whereas the Kolkata-based team is third with 11 points

bengaluru vs mohun bagan preview
Bengaluru FC thrashed DSK Shivajians 4-1 in their last match (Image courtesy of I-League)

A high voltage clash is on the cards as Bengaluru FC lock horns with defending champions Mohun Bagan in an I-League encounter at the Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Last year it was here that Mohun Bagan drew 1-1 in the title-deciding match against Bengaluru to win the trophy with defender Bello Rasaq heading in a late equaliser. For Bengaluru, it will be a chance for a sweet revenge if they can grab all three points in the game.

Presently Bengaluru are on top of the leader board with 15 points from seven matches whereas the visitors are third with 11 but have played two games less than their rivals.

Mohun Bagan are still the only unbeaten side in the tournament and Sanjoy Sen's men would look to keep the record intact.

The battle of attacking trios

However, it will be the hosts who will be more confident going into the encounter having thrashed DSK Shivajians 4-1 in their last outing, while Mohun Bagan lost truckloads of opportunities against Mumbai FC and were held to a goalless stalemate.

Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood will rely on his forwards like Sunil Chhetri, North Korean Sim Song Yong and C.K Vineeth to give him goals. The trio has been on song and have been providers for each other on a number of occasions.

But Westwood's biggest challenge would be to keep his defence tight so that Mohun Bagan's in-form attackers, Sony Norde, Katsumi Yusa and Cornell Glen would have trouble going past it.

All three have been excellent so far this season and on their day no defence can be sturdy enough to hold them back.

If the hosts win, they will consolidate their position atop the table but if Mohun Bagan grab full points they will jump up a rung and sit second on the points table with 14 points.

Mohun Bagan were beaten 0-6 by Shandong Luneng in the second qualifying round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League in China and then they squandered easy chances against Mumbai.

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen was also show caused by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) recently for his acidic comments against the national football governing body.

He will hope his team responds to all his woes in style on Saturday.

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