Mohun Bagan SG will look to seal their spot in the 2023 AFC Cup group stages as they face off against Dhaka Abahani in the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. The Mariners have reached this stage courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Nepal’s Machhindra FC whereas the Bangladeshi side Dhaka Abahani got the better of Maldivian side Club Eagles.
The stakes are high as the city prepares for this exciting encounter which will see the winner move on to the AFC Cup group stages. Despite their rocky start to the season where Juan Ferrando’s men have struggled to find a balance, Mohun Bagan SG will give it their all as it is no secret that the AFC Cup is the priority for the high-budget squad. The match is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 PM IST on the 22nd of August, 2023.
In the midst of an intensive pre-season, Mohun Bagan faces the challenge of rejuvenating their team amidst a restructuring phase. The upcoming clash against an in-form Abahani Dhaka holds significant importance, as it offers a shot at securing a coveted spot in the AFC Cup South Zone group stage. However, the Mariner’s recent performances have been inconsistent, evident from their struggles to find their rhythm.
Despite an impressive 5-0 victory over Bangladesh Army FT in the Durand Cup opener, their subsequent matches have displayed a lack of cohesion. The conclusion of their eight-match winning streak against arch-rivals East Bengal further highlighted their difficulties. The incorporation of high-profile foreign signings has yet to yield desired outcomes, with coach Juan Ferrando grappling to strike the right balance.
Conversely, Dhaka Abahani arrives with strong momentum, boasting a four-game winning streak, including their most recent 2-1 win over Club Eagles of Maldives in the second preliminary round of the AFC Cup. As both teams collide, it remains to be seen how these recent forms will influence the outcome on the field.
Regarding team updates, both Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Dhaka Abahani have no known injuries or suspensions in their squads. This allows both teams to field their strongest players and perform at their highest level during the game.
The head-to-head encounters between ATK Mohun Bagan and Dhaka Abahani reveal a history of spirited battles on the football field. Their most recent clash occurred on April 19, 2022, during the Preliminary Round 2 of the AFC Cup qualifiers. In this bout, ATK Mohun Bagan showcased their supremacy by overpowering Dhaka Abahani with a decisive 3-1 victory at the Salt Lake Stadium.
However, this wasn’t their first face-off. Going back to April 4, 2017, the two teams clashed again in the AFC Cup group stages, with Mohun Bagan triumphing 3-1. During their final group-stage match in the same year’s AFC Cup, both teams found themselves eliminated from the knockout stages. In a well-contested encounter, the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw on May 31, 2017.
Probable starting line-ups
Dhaka Abahani XI: Mahfuz Hasan (GK), Rahmat Mia, Ridoy, Ezekiel, Muzaffarjon, Foysal Ahmed, Ojukwu, Chukwudiebube, Masur Rana, Danilo Agusto, Soleimani
Boasting an impressive array of Indian and international talents, Mohun Bagan SG carries the weight of high fan expectations. Setting their sights on the Asian stage aligns with the club’s aspirations. Hence, the forthcoming match takes on a crucial dimension, necessitating a victory for the team.
The clash is enveloped in heightened stakes and palpable anticipation. With both teams poised for an intense showdown, the atmosphere is bound to be electrifying as fans from across the spectrum brace themselves for an enthralling spectacle. As the two teams lock horns, the match promises to be a tightly contested battle, where every move on the field holds significance.
The stakes are notably high, particularly for Mohun Bagan SG, who carry the weight of their ardent supporters’ lofty expectations. A win in this encounter carries the potential to propel them closer to their ambitions, especially their coveted aspiration to make an impact on the Asian stage. The determination to secure victory is palpable, making this upcoming clash an unmissable event that is set to unfold with nail-biting intensity.
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