Kolkata : Mohammedan Sporting take on Mohun Bagan in Round 20 of the I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium here Saturday.
Mohammedan Sporting are only a point above the relegation spot and trail Mohun Bagan by four points, but have played two games less.
The two Kolkata giants have met three times this season in three different competitions but it has ended all square in each occasion including the goalless stalemate in I-League last November.
Last week Mohammedan Sporting ended a sequence of four straight league defeats by beating title-chasing Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1. The 'Black and Whites' managed to win despite playing with 10-men for the entire second half as Mehrajuddin Wadoo was sent off and thus is suspended for this clash.
Coach Sanjoy Sen is eager to stay away from relegation and thus wants to build on that win with a good run of results.
“It was good to get back to winning ways but we must keep playing well and record a few more victories to improve our position,” Sen said.
Mohun Bagan will be involved in a local derby for the second straight game as they came from behind to hold arch-rivals East Bengal to a 1-1 stalemate in the last round. The 'Mariners' have failed to win any of their three matches after the league break and thus are desperate to win.
The 'Green-and-Maroon' brigade are set to welcome back skipper Odafa Okolie from injury but it remains to be seen whether the Nigerian starts against his former club.
“It is good to have Odafa back. I am confident that he will do well and help us move into the top half of the table,” Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa stated.
Neither club has any hope of winning the league but unlike Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting have lifted a couple of trophies this season already. Historically though, Mohun Bagan have the slight edge as they have recorded the only win in three previous I-League meetings.