I-League newcomers Aizawl FC will be keen on recording a favourable result against defending champions Mohun Bagan when the two sides clash swords at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Mizoram Saturday. Bagan, following 11 games this season, are still undefeated.
It will be a historic moment for Aizawl to play against one of the greatest football clubs of India for the first time in their home turf. The excitement thus in the North-Eastern part of India is at an all-time high.
The last time the two sides met this season, Mohun Bagan thrashed the I-League newcomers 3-1 at the Barasat Stadium in West Bengal.
Aizawl FC are currently rockbottom in the league table with just two victories from their 11 games. However, the home team are confident enough that they will be able pull off a shock Saturday and hand Bagan their first defeat of the season. Incidentally, the away side will be without the likes of Sony Norde, Pronay Haldar, Pritam Kotal and Jeje Lalpekhlua, who have international committments.
"We are well-prepared for the match. We are going to do something to win three points," Aizawl FC coach Jahar Das was quoted as saying by the official I-League website. "The biggest upset of Hero I-League is going to happen tomorrow."
"Mohun Bagan are always a team to beat. We will have to work hard on the pitch to earn three points."
The away side, who look the favourites on-paper, are also not willing to take the home side lightly. "Aizawl FC have been playing brilliantly although they could not get the right result on every occasion. We're expecting a tough fight tomorrow," Bagan assistant coach Shankarlal Chakraborty said.
"Mohun Bagan always play as a team. We're completely aware of the fact who are not going to play and others are gearing up to give a shot in their absence. It'll be the perfect stage for them," he added.
While Balwant Singh still remain in the sidelines owing to a groin injury and looks unavailable for the match, Aizawl FC will be without defenders Emmanuel Chigozie and Lalramchullova, both suspended for the game.
Where to watch live
The match is scheduled to kick-off at 2:30 p.m. IST (9 a.m. GMT) March 26. Online streaming will be available exclusively on the I-League website.
Live scores of the match can be found on the I-League twitter handle.