Kolkata, Feb 11 (PTI) With four of their stars out ofaction, former champions Mohun Bagan will be under pressuretomorrow when they take on Pune FC in the second round matchof the I League here tomorrow.
While one of the main strikers Muritala Ali would not beable to play for getting a red card earlier, medios AsimBiswas and Manish Mathani would have to sit out for doublebooking in the last match.To add to their woes, Bagan''s dependable left backMohan Raj will be unable to play because of injury.
The silver lining for Bagan is their solid defence withlot of players returning to their fold after doing thenational duty at Asian Cup in Doha.
Strength of Green and Maroon brigade''s defence went upwith in-form Shiltan Paul in goal and Surkumar Singh, DipakMondal, Anwar and Dhanarajan at the back line.
Bagan coach Subhas Bhowmick said, "I have not seen Punein action so far this season. We have to sway trend in ourfavour."
Bagan have so far collected 19 points from 13 matches.
Admitting that Pune FC keeper Subrata Paul would bedifficult to beat, Bhowmick said, "We have to create chancesand utilise them."
Bagan will largely depend on Satish Kumar, Rakesh Mashi,Jayan Sen and Snehasish Chakraborty to create opportunitiesfrom the midfield and feed forwards Jose Barreto and Chidi whoshould do the needful at the upfront.
Pune, who finished at third place in I League lastseason, also have their share of problems as their forwardTita and medio Ajayan would have to sit out because of injury.
Moreover they are not very comfortable in playing onartificial turf, coach Derek Periera said.
Derek said, "Mohun Bagan are former champions and goodside this time as well. More over the addition of players whowere busy playing for India, has also given added strength totheir side."
Pune FC are now at 8th position with 14 points from 13matches.