Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs Goa: Preview and Prediction
In the fifth match of matchday 11 of the 2023-24 Indian Super League, two title contenders Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Goa will cross swords at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, on Saturday.
If we are to pick favourites to lift the shield after analysing the matches we have seen so far, Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Goa will be the first names on people’s minds. The Kolkata Giants have won six of their eight matches, and have lost just a single game. With 19 points in their account from eight matches, they are placed third on the points table.
The only team that has been better than the Mariners so far happens to be Goa. Among the only two sides to still remain unbeaten in this competition, the Gaurs have won six and drawn two of their eight matches. With 20 points from the same number of matches as MBSG, Manolo Marquez Roca’s team are in the pole position.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant had an excellent start to their campaign, as they won all of their first five matches. Juan Ferrando’s team started their journey with a 3-1 win against newbies Punjab, before grinding out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Bengaluru.
Chennaiyin could not pose much of a threat as the Mariners pipped them 3-1, and while Jamshedpur did pose a challenge, the defending champions prevailed once again, walking away with a 3-2 win. In their fifth match, they handed Hyderabad a 2-0 defeat.
But things have not quite been the same over the last few matches. In their sixth match, Ferrando’s boys saw their winning streak come to an end when Odisha restricted them to a 2-2 draw. While they did bounce back with a 3-1 win over NorthEast United, they suffered their first defeat in the last match against Mumbai City, going down 1-2 in a helter-skelter contest.
Goa had a similar start, although it was not as great as Mohun Bagan’s. They too defeated Punjab in their first match, where the margin was 1-0. The next two matches saw them beating Odisha 3-2 and East Bengal 2-1.
But the winning streak lasted only three games, as in their fourth match, the Gaurs played out a 0-0 draw against Bengaluru. That was followed by another run of three consecutive victories.
This time, Roca’s team defeated Chennaiyin 3-0, Jamshedpur 1-0 and Kerala Blasters 1-0. But as for the Mariners, Mumbai City has been the party-spoilers for them as well, as they held the Gaurs to a goalless stalemate in the last encounter.
Head to Head Record
There is not much competition when it comes to head-to-head records, as Mohun Bagan Super Giant is miles ahead in this regard. The Mariners have won four of the previous six league meetings against Goa, while the Gaurs have won only once. The other match ended in a draw.
The last meeting, which was played out in December last year, saw Ferrando’s team getting a 2-1 win. Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous scored for the Mariners, while for Goa, Anwar Ali was the only scorer.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant will have plenty of players unavailable after the madness which took place during their clash against Mumbai City, resulting in seven red cards. Asish Rai, Hector Yuste, and Liston Colaco are all suspended for the forthcoming fixture.
Meanwhile, Petratos played as a substitute in the last match, but he has made a full recovery and is fit to start now. But the same cannot be said about Sahal Abdul Samad, whose recovery process is taking longer than initially expected. He did not travel with the squad to Mumbai and is unlikely to be available for this match. Anwar and Ashique Kuruniyan remain long-term injury absentees.
On the other hand, Roca will have the luxury to field whosoever he wants for this match. The team does not have any injury concerns, and while Odei Onaindia got yellow carded in the last match, he has not accumulated four of those to get a one-match suspension.
Predicted Starting XIs
Mohun Bagan Super Giant (3-4-2-1): Vishal Kaith; Brendan Hamill, Sumit Rathi, Subhasish Bose; Ravi Rana, Anirudh Thapa, Hugo Boumous, Kiyan Nassiri; Jason Cummings; Manvir Singh, Dimitri Petratos.
Goa (4-2-3-1): Arshdeep Singh; Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Sandesh Jhingan, Jay Gupta; Carl McHugh, Raynier Fernandes; Boris Singh Thangjam, Victor Rodriguez, Udanta Singh; Noah Sadaoui.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant might have the tendency to bring out their ‘A Game’ against Goa, but the equation will be different this time. Goa will have a settled outfit who are yet to be beaten, while with numerous injuries and suspension, Mohun Bagan Super Giant will have to field nearly a second-string team. Hence, the Gaurs will start this game as favorites.