DEFENDING CHAMPIONS Mohun Bagan would bank on their strong offensive line-up for a win against Salgaocar in their I-League football encounter here on Saturday.
Bagan brushed aside the challenge from newcomers Aizawl FC 3-1 in the league opener and now will be looking to win their second consecutive match of the tournament. The match will also serve as a tune-up for their crunch derby mach against arch-rivals East Bengal on January 23.
East Bengal also won their first match 3-1 against Sporting Clube de Goa in an away match.
Bagan's new recruit Cornell Glen struck a brace and Balwant Singh scored the other in their win against Aizawl at the Barasat stadium last week. While it was the silver lining for coach Sanjoy Sen in their opening match, defender Pritam Kotal's attempted clearance that resulted in an own goal was a dark spot.
Salgaocar come into the contest at the back of a 1-2 defeat against last year's runner-up Bengaluru FC in a home match, undone by a superb Sunil Chhetri free-kick.
Edging past the Goan outfit won't be an easy task for Bagan as they possess some quality players capable of causing trouble to the perceived weak defensive line of the hosts.
The home side should take special note of players like striker Darryl Duffy and midfielder Jackichand Singh who can surprise any defence with their pace and movement.
Sanjoy Sen understands the value of a win against a powerful Salgaocar side would boost their confidence for the derby match.
Sen may contemplate fielding the recently signed Brazilian defender Luciano Sabrosa to utilise his experience in plugging gaps in a porous defence.
The visitors would also have their share of defensive responsibilities, containing Bagan's formidable offensive trio of Katsumi Yusa, Glen and Balwant Singh.