Mumbai, Dec 13: Bhaichung Bhutia believes that the ISL second semi-final between Atletico De Kolkata and Mumbai City FC is going to be the most exciting match in the league despite Diego Forlan's absence.
Diego Forlan was sent-off during the first leg of the semis with a straight red card due to a clumsy tackle on one of the ATK players.
Bhaichung, speaking over the phone on Tuesday, December 13, said: “I know Forlan has been the most sought star in this ISL. And he will not be there in the second semifinal.
"Still, I believe the match will generate excitement due to the rivalry between other stars of both the teams.
"If you look at Mumbai City FC they have players like Sony Norde, Sunil Chettri, and Jakichand Singh. Despite the fact that Forlan will not be there, these players can win matches also.
"On the other side, it is true that Kolkata has Ian Hume and Helder Postiga.
"As I have been watching ATK’s performance in the last couple of games, the combination of these two strikers seem to be deadly and they are game changers.
"So, it is not that absence of Forlan will steal the attraction of today’s match.”
But at the same time, the former Indian striker remarked: “I will be happy if Indian footballers shine in the semifinal as in my observation Indian footballers, especially the Indian strikers and midfielders have not shined comparing to their show in the last ISL.”
ATK, however, will miss Arnab Mondal, one of the most consistent Indian footballers in the league due to injury.
The team’s coach Jose Molina has admitted saying: “Absence of Arnab in our defense is a big loss, even bigger than Mumbai who will not be getting Forlan.
"They have more players who can fulfill Forlan’s absence by playing his role behind the forwards. But we have the least number of defenders who can do Arnab's job.”