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AFC Cup 2017: Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru Preview - Southern Eagles look to stake their claim to top of Group E

Goal.com logo Goal.com 16-05-2017

Mohun Bagan will welcome Bengaluru FC to their bastion of Kolkata in an Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Cup Group E fixture at the Rabinder Sarobar Stadium on Wednesday 17th May.

The significance of this tie is at polar opposite spectrums for either team. The Mariners have sunk without a trace in the competition and are already eliminated, while the Blues are doing their best to qualify to the knockout stages. The home side sit in third place with three points, while the away side have amassed nine from their four games.

Sanjoy Sen will approach this tie keeping a firm eye on the Federation Cup final coincidentally between these two Indian football behemoths as well. Though he will make a number of changes to the side that played the semi-final of the Cup they're still in contention for - a 2-0 win over East Bengal - he'll want to make the task ahead of the southern side as tough as it can be.

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Mohun Bagan are expected to rest Sony Norde and Darryl Duffy while Eduardo Fereira might get a run out with Anas Edathodika carrying a strain. Elsewhere expect Kean Lewis and Prabir Das on either wings but Katsumi Yusa is expected to spearhead what could essentially be Mohun Bagan's second string side.

Albert Roca has a straightforward task set ahead of him. Win and he'll have qualification from the group in his own hands when his team face Maziya Sports and Recreation on the final group stage matchday. Lose and suddenly the focus shifts to the proceedings in the match of his nearest competitors which he won't want to do.

The Spaniard is expected to field a strong team bar skipper and striker Sunil Chhetri, who is continuing to recover from a hamstring injury. CK Vineeth will lead the line considering Cornell Glen hasn't been registered for the tournament. Roca could shift between his favourite 4-3-3 or a 3-4-2-1. However Hamranjot Singh Khabra and John Johnson are suspended for the match while Cameron Watson and Juanan have not traveled to Kolkata. With the Federation Cup win against Aizawl only a couple of days ago, Roca will also look to rotate key players, especially with one eye towards the upcoming Federation Cup final where they face the same opposition. Salam Ranjan Singh and Sandesh Jhingan are looking to helm the defense while young Gursimrat Singh will look to slot in Right Back. Elsewhere in attack, Udanta Singh and Seminlen Doungel will be looking to get starts.

It's a game with relatively simple connotations for either team. But, the warring duo will firmly have their focus on the big enchilada that nstles beyond the boundary of this match. Kick off is at 7 PM IST.

PREDICTED LINE UPS

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