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Friday, December 28, 2012
Sports

Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13

Win and be the leaders

Crucial Abahani-Mohammedan encounter today

Taking solo lead in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League will be on Mohammedan and Abahani's minds when the traditional foes clash in a crucial encounter of the competition at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

State-owned Bangladesh Television will telecast the match live from 4:30pm.

Both Abahani and Mohammedan, along with Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, are on the top of the nine-team table with 10 points each though they played one match more than Sheikh Jamal's four.

Though the tie between the country's most popular sides is expected to create little enthusiasm among the spectators because of the game's poor standard these days, there will, for sure, be some tense, exciting and entertaining moments on the pitch since it is a match between the Black and Whites and the Sky Blues.

Holders Abahani proved their worth in the professional football league after winning four out of five championships while this is the one title that has eluded Mohammedan.

But despite winning the title four times, Abahani managed three wins against two defeats in their 10 meetings in the tournament so far and another close contest is expected between the two today.

On paper, Abahani are the stronger side but their performance on the pitch has not been convincing while Mohammedan with a mediocre side have been having an impressive run so far that saw them crush title contenders Sheikh Russel.

Inspired by two successive wins against Sheikh Russel and Arambagh, Mohammedan coach Saiful Bari Titu is upbeat about keeping the momentum going against Abahani.

"We will definitely go there for a victory and I hope the boys will be keeping their attacking attitude up in the last three matches," said Titu, who will join his charges after two matches for his illness.

"There is no doubt that Abahani have not performed upto their mark and they can spark against us, but I am hopeful the boys will leave the field with another victory," said the former national footballer.

On the other hand, Abahani, smarting from a 1-0 defeat against Sheikh Russel, are also looking forward to bouncing back to stay in the title race as Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel are hot on their heels.

"This match may be important to you or to the spectators, but each game is same for me," said Abahani's Iranian coach Ardeshir Pournemat, who later said that he would give Abahani spectators something to remember for long time.

"We forgot what happened in the last match and the loss against Sheikh Russel eventually has helped the players to get over the fear of losing the game. Over the last week, I have worked on the psychology of the players and at the moment the boys are at the top physically, psychologically and technically," said Ardeshir, wishing to grab the top spot of the table beating Mohammedan.

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