Match Preview : Mohun Bagan SG vs Machhindra FC, AFC Cup Second Preliminary round

After a shocking loss against arch-rivals Emami East Bengal, reigning ISL Cup champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant will take on Nepal A division runners-up side Machhindra FC on 16th August 2023.

Mohun Bagan's surprising season opener Kolkata Derby loss against a comparatively weaker side Emami East Bengal makes it morally tough for the century-old side to move on. But the management is keen to get a dominating result against lower club-ranked side Machhindra FC.

Juan Ferrando and Co. are 90 minutes away from the AFC Cup playoff round against the winner of the South 2.2 round between Maldivian side Club Eagles and Bangladesh side Dhaka Abahani. With the star-studded domestic and foreign roster, there is nearly nil doubt that the Mariners have earned a huge chance for the AFC Cup Group stage this season.

But dominating against Nepali runners-up Machhindra won't be a cakewalk for Juan Ferrando's team as Machhindra FC are desperate to enter the Asian Football scene by qualifying for the AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage. They may not have a much resourceful team roster, but they'll fight at their very best, as their loss will surely make their end in the AFC Cup for this season.

Courtesy: Asian Football Confederation

As Mohun Bagan and Indian clubs have the best chance this season and are yet to taste their first continental trophy, this makes a huge boost for the century-old club to make them and the country proud. 

So for anyone expecting an easy Qualifying round for Juan's boys just because of the club ranking coefficient, just STOP it right now. Form always goes out of the window when it is a knockout match for a major continental triumph, but the unique circumstances make this more dramatic for the players and coaches of both teams.

One thing, however, is for sure and easy to predict: Machhindra FC coach Kishor Kumar KC will do everything in their power to stop the star-studded Mohun Bagan forward and Midfield line with the likes of Dimitri Petratos, Jason Cummings, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal and others. Machhindra FC will try to stop the passing and flowing game of Juan Ferrando with their whole heart. Machhindra FC will rely heavily on counters, set pieces and surprise attacks with the likes of Nigerian CF Afeez Oladipo and Nepali CFs Bimal Magar and Ayush Ghalan. 

Mohun Bagan must stay focused and try as many shots to convert them into a goal, Juan Ferrando should never think of trying to take the match in ET and Penalties as sudden deaths always favour us. Ferrando's boys can easily dominate the Nepali side if they can convert positive chances into goals. Dominate the ball, destroy the defence and take a 2-0 Scoreline before Half time and win the match with the margin of 5-0 with ease. 

Mohun Bagan will try to dominate majorly but we are fully prepared for a two-sided game. Team Mohun Bagan is just a big win away from getting our confidence back. If we capitalize on given chances, it'll surely boost our morale and mood after the surprising loss against Emami East Bengal. 

Read More:

Who are Macchindra FC, Mohun Bagan's opponent in AFC Cup?

Possible line-ups:

Mohun Bagan SG (4-3-1-2): Vishal Kaith (GK), Ashish Rai, Brendan Hamill, Anwar Ali, Subhashis Bose(C), Anirudh Thapa, Glan Martins, Sahal Abdul Samad, Hugo Boumous, Dimitri Petratos, Jason Steven Cummings

Machhindra FC (4-3-3): Bishal Shreshtha (GK) (C), Sanish Shreshtha, Omolaja Karim, Devendra Tamang, Tshiring Gurung, Utsab Rai, Andreas Nia, Arik Bista, Afeez Olawale, Bimal Gurung Magar, Aayush Ghalan.

Prediction: As Mohun Bagan will try to dominate Machhindra FC, a scoreline of  2-0 or 3-0 can be expected but Machhindra's dedication and more solid chemistry can cost Juan Ferrando if he is not careful enough.

Live Stream: Mohun Bagan Super Giant Facebook Page 

Kick OFF: 7:30 PM IST

Venue: Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangyan (Salt Lake Stadium), Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

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