As the 5th week of the I-League kicks off today, the first clash of the day will see DSK Shivajians lock horns again Mohun Bagan in Pune.
The 2015 I-League champions will consider this match as a good preparatory session for their AFC Champions league match against Colombo FC in Sri Lanka on 31st January.
This match will kick off at 7pm India time and it would be intriguing to see whether DSK Shivajians can continue their rise on the I-League stage. Being particularly strong at home, DSK will do everything to make sure Mohun Bagan doesn't get an easy 3 points today.
Coach Dave Rogers would definitely be excited by the consistency shown in goal by DSK goalkeeper Soram Poirei. Not only that, their defense is pretty solid too. Alongwith centre-back Sasa Kolunija, and the talented midfielder Rohit Kumar, DSK look a strong unit.
Although Lallianzuala Chhangte and Milan Singh have had slow starts in this season's I-League, if the quality of players they have in their team start giving consistent performances, this team could be one of the dark horses in this season's I-League. Mohun Bagan have endured an unbeaten start to the league, winning each of their first four matches.
For Bagan, Scotsman Darryl Duffy is leading the way with four goals, and Jeje Lalpekhlua is in red hot form with three goals. Although it goes without saying that Bagan has had a fairly easy run of fixtures in the league till now, but Shivajians is probably their first stern test in the I-League this season for Sanjoy Sen's team, who were made to struggle against Chennai City in a 2-1 win.
With defenders Eduaro Ferreira and Bikramjit Singh showed some gaps in communication in the previous game, Sen might turn to Anas Edathodika to lead the defence. Mohun Bagan's biggest threat in this match will definitely come from the established Sony Norde who has scored the most number of goals in the matches these two teams played last season, including both goals in a 2-0 win in Pune.
Before the match, DSK coach Dave Rogers said, “It is another big test for our players. But a test we are looking forward to and one which our players will relish when they play against Mohun Bagan” This match kicks off at 7pm IST and will be telecast live on Ten 2.