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Unknown Saunders worry Mohun Bagan coach

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan begin their AFC Champions League campaign against Sri Lankan club Saunders at Colombo on Wednesday.

On match-eve if there is anything bothering the National Football League champions it is the lack of information about their opposition. Talking to The Telegraph, coach Subrata Bhattacharya said, “We tried our best to get some first hand information about Saunders. But nothing was available.”

However, given the lack of information, the only prudent thing Bhattacharya can do is give Saunders some respect. “It is their home match and we will have to be cautious before going into the offensive.”

The Bagan coach said his team would follow a wait-and-watch policy in the match. “For the first half-an-hour, we will play defensively and try to form an idea about them.”

Bhattachrya, however, sounded a bit distressed that his team could not practice under floodlights. “We’ll have to play under lights and it was necessary that we get some practice under the lights. But it was not be as a Sri Lankan League match was on.” He said that the team practised for about a couple of hours in the morning.

The ground, though, came in for some praise. “It’s looks quite good and I don’t think my boys will have any problem adopting to the condition.

Meanwhile, it is the Bhaichung Barreto combination upfront that the coach is banking on. “Obviously, the two of them playing together should make the difference. They looked quite good together and I hope they keep up the good work.”

Though the coach did not confirm the final team he will play in the match, he indicated that they will play in the 4-4-2 formation.

With Yakubu and Satish Bharti as the central defenders, the coach plans to play George Ekeh as the defensive screen.

Likely team

Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Yakubu, Satish Bharti, Dulal Biswas, Lolendra Singh; Basudeb Mondal, George Ekeh, Jayanta Sen, Rennedy Singh; Bhaichung Bhutia, Jose Ramirez Barreto.

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