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Faltering Mohun Bagan face resurgent Kerala Blasters (Match Preview 78)

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Margao (Goa), Jan 30 (IANS) Kerala Blasters will be hoping to ride their recent good form when they face a faltering ATK Mohun Bagan in their next Indian Super League (ISL) at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday.

Second-placed Bagan have lost two and drawn one of their last five matches because of which they now trail table toppers Mumbai City FC by six points. They lost their last match against NorthEast United 2-1.

Bagan’s defence has been under the pump, conceding four goals. This is in stark contrast to the form they showed in their first nine matches of the season in which they conceded just thrice.

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Upfront, missed chances has continued to cost them points, with Bagan scoring just three goals in their last four games.

Fresh after acquiring the services of Marcelinho, on-loan from Odisha FC, Bagan coach Antonio Lopez Habas believes his team is improving despite the recent results but has called for his attack to step up.

“We were improving our performance and our creation of chances in the last few matches but we have to continue with the same purpose. After the first few matches and the first few rounds of the league, the team consolidated the system and the idea. Now we have to increase our attacking performance,” said Habas.

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They face a Kerala Blasters side who are unbeaten in their last five games. They have recovered from a poor start to the season to stake a claim in the race for a playoff spot, trailing fourth-placed Hyderabad FC by just four points.

Bagan who came out on top when the two sides faced each other in the opening game of the ISL season. However, for Kerala coach Kibu Vicuna, that result won’t have any bearing on Sunday’s match.

“It was a question of one detail (defensive mistake), not that they were better than us. Now the circumstances are different. Bagan have fantastic players and a good coach. It’s going to be a difficult challenge for us,” said Vicuna.

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–IANS

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