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Md. Sp. are firm favourites

Calcutta: Mohammedan Sporting would look to consolidate their position when they face Bhowanipore FC in a Group D tie of the ongoing Federation Cup, at the MDS Complex, in Manjeri, on Friday.

Having beaten United Sikkim FC in their opener, Mohammedan Sporting need to win against Bhowanipore as well, more so, as their last group-stage match is against Dempo SC, which could decide who would go through to the semi-final.

Coach Sanjoy Sen, whose arrival has brought about some discipline in Mohammedan Sporting’s performance, wants his team to tighten up on their defence. “We must ensure we don’t concede goals.

“If we tighten up on our defence, I’m sure we’ll be able to call the shots,” Sen said on the match eve.

Unlike their game against United Sikkim, Mohammedan Sporting will play Friday’s match in the afternoon. “In a way, it’s good that we don’t have to play under lights.

“In the previous game, players were having problems because of the dew, which won’t be a factor tomorrow,” Sen added.

Mohammedan Sporting are likely to go in with the same XI that started against United Sikkim.

In Group A, United SC find themselves in a must-win situation against Pune FC, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Kochi, to stay afloat in the competition. True, the start hasn’t been a good one for either teams. But United SC were beaten 2-1 by Churchill Brothers, which means they seriously have an uphill task ahead. Pune FC, meanwhile, played out a 1-1 draw versus Eagles FC.

However, the silver lining for United SC, who have been going through an extremely tough phase both on and off the field, is Ranty Martins getting back to scoring.

TODAY’S MATCHES

Group A (in Kochi): United SC vs Pune FC; Churchill Brothers vs Eagles FC

Group D (in Manjeri): Mohammedan Sporting vs Bhowanipore FC; United Sikkim FC vs Dempo SC