Rampaging Mohun Bagan will look to make it five wins on the trot and build their lead at the top of the table when they host NEROCA in an I-League fixture in Kalyani on Friday.
The Kolkata giants have been unstoppable since their loss to Churchill Brothers on December 8. The hosts have been unbeaten in their last nine matches, having notched up an eight-point lead over second-placed Punjab FC after 11 rounds.
With everything functioning like a clockwork in the Mohun Bagan camp, their only concern at the moment would be the fitness of centre-half Daneil Cyrus.
Deep-lying midfielder Fran Gonzales has been playing at the back in his absence and has done well as a makeshift stopper.
However, Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna would be hopeful of having Cyrus amongst his options again for this match. “He (Cyrus) has trained with us. He is feeling better than last week but we will have to wait and see,” the Spaniard said.
Mohun Bagan rode on a Baba Diawara first-half strike to prevail over Punjab FC in their last match here.
“It wasn’t an easy game against Punjab. Both sides had chances but I believe we were more consistent. Now, we are looking forward to our next challenge against Neroca. We have a tough run of fixtures ahead but we will be approaching it one game at a time,” Vicuna said.
“They (Neroca) are a good side. They have strengthened their squad in the winter. I believe they will be full of confidence.”
NEROCA, on the other hand, were left disappointed in their last game after settling for a goalless draw against the Indian Arrows at home, failing to build on their emphatic 5-0 victory over TRAU.
With Gokulam Kerala, Real Kashmir and Punjab FC waiting for the Imphal-based in their next three games, NEROCA will look to gain some momentum.
NEROCA, however, will be without the services of Mali centre-back Ousmane Diawara, who picked up his fourth yellow card of the season against the Arrows.
“Mohun Bagan are great going forward. We lost 0-3 last time but this time, we will be more focused and careful. Football is all about fighting for the result and we will do so tomorrow,” NEROCA coach Gift Raikhan said.
Pointing out their hectic scheduling, he said: “Tomorrow is going to be our third match in a week. My players have done well to recover. Mohun Bagan are a great team. They are on course for the title but like any other game, we will do our job play football,” he concluded.
The match will broadcast LIVE on 1SPORT from 5:00 PM IST straight from Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal.