Durand Cup 2022, Group B preview: Kolkata giants face challenge from revitalised Mumbai City FC

All eyes will be on Group B as Durand Cup returns with all eleven Hero Indian Super League (ISL) teams playing the competition for the first time ever.

The two home sides – ATK Mohun Bagan and the Red and Gold brigade – will enjoy plenty of support in the city of joy as the Kolkata derby will be the marquee clash in the group phase of the tournament.

Former Hero ISL champions Mumbai City FC who have made a host of top-quality signings in the summer will be their biggest challengers in Group B as they would like to explore their renewed strength in the tournament and add to the Hero ISL and League Winners’ Shield double they had won in 2020-21

I-League side Rajasthan United and Indian Navy FC complete Group B which will be played out in Kolkata.

Group B teams

Sr No

Teams

1

ATK Mohun Bagan

2

East Bengal

3

Indian Navy

4

Mumbai City FC

5

Rajasthan United

Group B fixtures

Date

Time

Match

Venue

August 18, 2022

3 PM IST

Mumbai City FC vs Indian Navy

Kolkata

August 20, 2022

6 PM IST

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Rajashthan United

Kolkata

August 22, 2022

6 PM IST

Red and Golds vs Indian Navy

Kolkata

August 24, 2022

6 PM IST

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai City FC

Kolkata

August 25, 2022

6 PM IST

Red and Golds vs Rajashthan United

Kolkata

August 28, 2022

6 PM IST

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Red and Golds

Kolkata

August 29, 2022

3 PM IST

Rajasthan United vs Mumbai City FC

Kolkata

August 31, 2022

6 PM IST

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Indian Navy

Kolkata

September 3, 2022

6 PM IST

Mumbai City FC vs Red and Golds

Kolkata

September 5, 2022

3 PM IST

Rajasthan United vs Indian Navy

Kolkata

Talking points

ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC: New signings on show

While all the focus will be on the Kolkata derby, ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC, two of the biggest spenders in the transfer window will go head-to-head in the group phase of the Durand Cup. The two teams are expected to be right in the mix when it comes to a title challenge in the Hero ISL in the upcoming season. The two sides also battled it out in Hero ISL 2020-21 campaign and finished as the two best teams in the league.

Both teams have significantly strengthened this season and the Durand Cup will offer the chance to see these new signings in their new skin for the first time. For the Mariners, Florentin Pogba, Dimitri Petratos, Brendan Hamill, Ashique Kuruniyan, Asish Rai, and goalkeeper Vishal Kaith will hope to get important minutes under their belt ahead of the Hero ISL. The fans would get a glimpse of how this new-look Mariners side would play under Juan Ferrando.

It’s a similar story for the Islanders who have Greg Stewart, Alberto Noguera, and Jorge Pereyra Diaz who will be seen in the light blue colours for the first time. All eyes will be on that Mumbai City FC attack that also includes Bipin Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte. Head coach Des Buckingham has his task cut out as he tries to pick from these high-quality options.

Highly competitive group: The Red and Golds backed by their fans will return to playing in Kolkata after two years and the fans will be eager to cheer the team to their first Durand Cup title in 18 years. The fans’ presence will make them a force in this group which also has Rajashthan United who finished sixth in the I-League last season. Indian Navy FC who won the Kerala Premier League in 2018-19 are one of the fittest teams in the Durand Cup.

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