Mohun Bagan will meet Panjim based Dempo SC in the 7th round of the current iLeague season. Dempo has a very good track record in Indian football in last 10 years, while Bagan off late does not have enough success at the National Level. This does not stop this game to be something less that rivalry when it comes to domestic football.
While most of the Mohun Bagan supporters still consider East Bengal to be their biggest rivals, the truth is, when its a game at the National level -Dempo is Mohun Bagan’s biggest rival since 2004 Federation Cup final.
Dempo has been working on a makeover, and have removed most of the elderly players and given the responsibility on the shoulders of Arther Papas. The youngest coach of iLeague, Papas did a wonderful job against the title contender East Bengal when his side won against Falopa’s troops by 3-1 in Kolkata. Beto showed his worth in the game. But this was followed by a poor performance as Dempo went down 1-3 against Bengaluru FC. Debabrata Roy and the aussi Simon Colosimo were not upto the mark against Bengaluru. It will be interesting to see if Bagan – with players worth Zakeer, Manish and Ram can take some moves from right.
Dempo will largely depend upon veterans Clifford Miranda and Beto beside the Japanese Shinnosuke Honda. Dempo’s strength is definitely on central midfield and this is where Karim might need to work hard. With Adil in search of his form, somebody worth both defensive and attacking skills need to be there to stop Dempo attack from the central midfield. Karim is getting Denson back – and it would be interesting to see how he utilises Denson.
Shilton had a good game – but again Karim needs to decide if Shilton is the best option against Dempo with the experienced Sandeep sitting on the bench in this vital match.
Mohun Bagan would definitely look for Harrison Eric Muranda service against Dempo with Sankar Oraon unavailable due to a marching order received at the last moment of the game. One is yet to learn whether the ex- Academy boy will be warned for the unnecessary conduct that led to some troubles aganst Mumbai FC.