Charged up with their back to back win over Minerva Punjab and Gokulam FC in their last two fixtures Aizawl FC is all set to take on the injury torn Mohun Bagan at Salt Lake stadium on Sunday.
The defending champion, despite losing their head coach Khalid Jamil and 13 of their players who were instrumental in lifting the trophy last season, started this season’s I-League campaign with ten points from five matches, thus proving their critics wrong.
Aizawl FC’s unbeaten home record was thwarted by their Northeast counterpart Shillong Lajong FC, but the defeat has taught the Mizo outfit a lesson. They are already back to their winning streak beating the then league leader Minerva Punjab at home and Gokulam FC in their away match.
While Aizawl FC camp is in a perfect mood for a big match, Mohun Bagan have just parted ways with their coach Sanjoy Sen after a series of bad games. The Kolkota giant has managed only three points from their last four matches and lost to 10 men Chennaiyin City FC in their last match which eventually led to the resignation of their long time coach. Now the burden falls on their new coach Sankarlal Chakroborty, who even though has been around Indian football for years, has not taken full responsibility before.
Apart from the managerial issues the Mohun Bagan could encounter the defending champion without two of their star players Sony Norde and Yuta Kinowaki due to injury. Bagan’s Haitian forward was not included in the squad against Chennaiyin FC.
Despite all the optimism the Mizo outfit will have to face new challenge without H Lalmuankima, who has joined the ISL side FC Goa. Muankima has been a major figure in Aizawl FC’s rejuvenation.
“To find a replacement for MK-A is a herculean task, we will have to do without him, but we have Albert and Fela who could take his place, his absence will be felt, but as a team we will sure endeavour and win,” Paolo Meneses, Aizawl FC’s coach said.
Paolo Meneses has appealed to the Aizawl FC fans, the red army to turn up and cheer for the team at Salt Lake like they have done in earlier match against East Bengal.