Basundhara Kings vs Mohun Bagan Super Giant: Preview and Prediction
The Bangladeshi team has had a topsy-turvy season so far, where they have done really well against the top teams, but not so much against the comparatively weaker sides. They have got all three results possible in their first three matches: a win, a draw, and a loss. With four points in three games, Oscar Bruzon’s team is placed second on the Group D standings.
On the other hand, Mohun Bagan Super Giant has not been on a rampage as they have been in the Indian Super League, but they have still managed to be the best team in the group. With two wins and a draw, Juan Ferrando’s team has got seven points and they are topping the standings currently.
What have they done so far?
Basundhara Kings had a shocking start to their continental campaign this season, as in their first match against a comparatively weaker side in Maldives’ Maziya, they suffered a 1-3 defeat away from home. But since then, they have managed to make a good comeback.
Bruzon’s boys were up against Odisha in their second match, where they got a hard-fought 3-2 win on their home ground. The credit for the victory should go to two Brazilians, as striker Dori scored a brace, while the other goal was scored by midfielder Miguel Figueira.
Despite that win, it is the performance against Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the last game which will please Bruzon the most. Despite trailing on two separate occasions, the Kings came back to get a 2-2 draw away from home, thanks to goals from Dori and Robinho.
As for Mohun Bagan Super Giant, their start could not have been any better as they completely demolished fellow Indian club, Odisha, by a 4-0 margin in their first match. Dimitri Petratos scored a brace, while the other two goals were scored by Sahal Abdul Samad and Liston Colaco.
In their second match, it was expected that the Mariners would blow Maziya away, but they had to get the win the hard way. The game was tied at 1-1 for the majority of its duration, but a 92nd-minute winner from Jason Cummings sealed all three points for Ferrando’s team.
But the Spanish tactician will surely not be happy with how his team played against the Kings in the last match. Despite having the home advantage and leading the scoreline twice, they had to settle for a point.
Head to Head Record
Mohun Bagan Super Giant enjoy an advantage when it comes to head-to-head records, but only by a very slight margin. These two teams have crossed paths on three occasions, where the Mariners have won once, while the other two matches ended as draws.
The last match saw both teams settling for a 2-2 draw, as mentioned above. As for the two previous matches, the first game was a 1-1 stalemate, while Mohun Bagan got a 4-0 win in the second game.
Though he will be happy with how his team performed in the away match, we can expect Bruzon to make some changes to his team, most of them being in the defensive section after they have let goals in every game.
Central defender Tariq Kazi was not at his best in the last game and he is likely to be replaced by the experienced Sohel Rana. Meanwhile, Saad Uddin had a difficult outing in the left-back role and might have to make way for the young Yeasin Arafat, who has become a mainstay in the Bangladesh national team at only 20 years of age.
Lastly, we can expect a change in the attacking section as well. Rakib Hossain could barely have any influence on the last game and he could be benched for Mohammad Ibrahim, the skilful winger who has recently been signed from Sheikh Russel KC.
On the other hand, Ferrando is also expected to make changes but one of them will be a forced one. Anwar Ali is out for a few weeks after sustaining an injury in the last match, and in his place, the experienced Subhasish Bose could be handed a start. Bose is likely to be deployed on the left of the three-man backline, with Brendan Hamill on the right.
Besides that, Glan Martins is also expected not to be involved from the start. Anirudh Thapa returned to the team in the Mariners’ last game against Jamshedpur in ISL, and he is likely to retain his place.
Predicted Starting XIs
Basundhara Kings (4-2-3-1): Mehedi Hasan Srabon; Bishwanath Ghosh, Sohel Rana, Boburbek Yuldashov, Yeasin Arafat; Jean Brossou, Asror Gafurov; Mohammad Ibrahim, Miguel Figueira, Robinho; Dori.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant (3-4-1-2): Vishal Kaith; Brendan Hamill, Hector Yuste, Subhasish Bose; Asish Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Liston Colaco; Hugo Boumous; Dimitri Petratos, Jason Cummings.
Though the Kings fought tooth and nail to get a point from the Indian soil, Mohun Bagan Super Giant still has a much better team on paper and should be among the favourites to win the competition. Hence, they will start as favourites to win this match as well.