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regular-article-logo Saturday, 18 May 2024

Indian Super League: Derby over, Mohun Bagan Super Giant focus on next goal

In order to bring in a few fresh legs following a high-intensity clash, head coach Antonio Lopez Habas mulls effecting some changes in the XI against the Blasters in Kochi

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 12.03.24, 10:04 AM
The happiness of fans knows no bounds when their team wins a Derby.

The happiness of fans knows no bounds when their team wins a Derby. Mohun Bagan Super Giant 

The joy of a comprehensive Derby win over arch-rivals Emami East Bengal seems to have sunk in and quick. In less than 24 hours after beating East Bengal 3-1 at Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday, Mohun Bagan Super Giant have already put the thinking cap on for their next ISL game, which is an away encounter against Kerala Blasters on Wednesday.

In order to bring in a few fresh legs following a high-intensity clash, head coach Antonio Lopez Habas mulls effecting some changes in the XI against the Blasters in Kochi. Defensive midfielder Deepak Tangri, who missed the Derby due to double booking, could be given a start alongside defender Brandon Hamill and striker Armando Sadiku.

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Albanian Sadiku may come in place of Australian forward Jason Cummings, who has been playing on a continuous basis. Besides, central midfielder Anirudh Thapa too is at Bagan’s disposal and could be seen as another option.

Already having qualified for the ISL playoffs ahead of the Derby, the win on Sunday also took Bagan to the top of the points table, thanks to a better goal difference over the second-placed Mumbai City FC, who too are on 36 points. But there’s not much to separate the two teams, so Bagan still have a lot of work pending.

Mumbai City host NorthEast United FC on Tuesday and stand a pretty good chance of winning against their opponents who are among the lower-ranked sides. On beating NorthEast, Mumbai City will regain the top spot, which means it will be a must-win game for Bagan against Blasters if they are to reclaim the No.1 position.

The defending champions, in fact, are keen on winning the ISL Shield as well this time around. “We are at the top of the table now, but we have some tough games ahead. If we win them, we can win the ISL Shield as well.

“That’s what our target is and we’re confident of what we can achieve,” playmaker Dimitri Petratos, whose stellar show was key to Bagan’s win over East Bengal, said.

“Our focus is currently on the Kerala Blasters game. We just need to take one game after another,” Habas stated.

To clinch the Shield, how Petratos delivers will be critical for Bagan. “Dimitri is a quality player. He scored lots of goals last year as well.

“He’s one of the best players in our team and has a lot of confidence in himself. Our coach has been utilising him very well, which is helping him to take an extra bit of workload. We hope he’ll continue with his performance,” captain Subhasish Bose said.

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