Match Preview: Mohun Bagan SG vs Abahani Dhaka Limited, AFC Cup Playoff round

Following a comfortable yet close win against Nepali A division runners up Machhindra FC and progressing through to the AFC Cup Playoff round on Wednesday, Mohun Bagan will meet one of the hottest clubs from the 
Bangladesh Premier League, Dhaka Abahani Limited on Tuesday evening at the YBK.

The winner of this final qualifying round will decide the final group stage entry spot for the AFC Cup 2023-24 South zone. So this already becomes a much-anticipated affair for the followers and supporters of the South zone clubs taking on each other for the Continental glory.

Dhaka Abahani and Mohun Bagan have their fair share of history of some high-profile AFC Cup and continental clashes and yet again Mariners will face them in the Playoff round back-to-back AFC Cup seasons. Both sides are looking to fight for supremacy and Continental glory as both of their respective countries ever tasted the Asian Glory before.

This would be a genuinely great test for Juan Ferrando and his boys yet again as Dhaka Abahani will try as hard as possible for the win and progress for the Continental glory. But traditionally Dhaka Abahani is a weaker side and their club co-efficient is no way near Mohun Bagan and India as mentioned in my previous article knockouts can be tricky and it's anyone's game if you underestimate anyone.

From a Mohun Bagan perspective, they have a star-studded lineup in every department but they still lack confidence and chemistry. Juan Ferrando and his gang can fall short against Abahani's growing chemistry, as their first-team players have played many matches and know each other quite well. Yet, if Juan Ferrando rectifies and improves his team-building chemistry and keeps the confidence of the 3-1 victory. His boys will thoroughly dominate Abahani Dhaka for the whole 90 minutes of the encounter.


Courtesy: Abahani Dhaka Limited

Abahani is a comparatively much weaker side and lacks the talent required to make it through the AFC Cup Group stage but will give it all to stop the star-studded squad of Mohun Bagan. Their previous AFC Cup Preliminary stage match against Maldivian side Club Eagles was a close call if Abahani's defender Danilo Augusto's late strike didn't make it through. But turning them down for one close affair will be a huge understatement and underestimating anyone at this stage can be a huge blunder.

Courtesy: Asian Football Confederation

A two-sided affair can be expected as Abahani are a much better side than Machhindra FC, former Manchester United youth and Bangladesh NT team coach Mario Lemos is known for his surprising tactics with his preferred 4-3-3 attacking style. Mohun Bagan defenders Anwar Ali, Hamill and Subhasis Bose should be alert for their surprising attack-minded tactics. 

As usual, not everything is perfect in this Dhaka Abahani team, their defence is quite shaky and it is prone to disintegrate with the right amount of forward line. Mohun Bagan has just that to disintegrate and dominate Abahani's Defence with the likes of Jason Cummings, Armando Sadiku and Dimitri Petratos. Juan Ferrando and his boys should not waste any time and convert all positive chances into goals and a healthy margin of 2-0 before HT and 4-0 on FT will seal the deal for the Mariners. 

Juan Ferrando wants to keep his Asian run intact for Mohun Bagan and India's first continental severe triumph and with the confidence of winning the previous Preliminary round win.

Yalla Asia!

Previous encounters of Mohun Bagan with Abahani Dhaka Limited:

2022 AFC Cup playoff : MB 3-1 Abahani

2017 AFC Cup group stage: MB(H) 3-1 Abahani

2017 AFC Cup group stage: MB 1-1 Abahani(H) 

Prediction: Mohun Bagan will face the underdogs of the South zone, but the last confidence boost and the talent depth in the squad of Mohun Bagan will definitely help. We, fans can hope for a 2-0 victory over Abahani Dhaka.

Possible lineup :

Mohun Bagan SG (3-4-2-1): Vishal Kaith (GK), Anwar Ali, Brandon Hamill, Subhasish Bose (C), Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Ashish Rai, Hugo Adnan Boumous, Sahal Abdul Samad, Ashique Kuruniyan, Jason Steven Cummings

Abahani Limited Dhaka (4-3-3): Mahfuz Hoson Pritom (GK), Ridoy Cornelius Stewart, Muzafforov, Faysal Ahmed Fahim, David Ifegwu, Emeka Ogbugh, Masud Rana, Danilo Augusto, Milad Sheikh, Rahmat Mia (C)

Kick OFF7:00 PM IST

Live Stream: Mohun Bagan Super Giant Facebook Page 

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

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