Holders Abahani and former champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club will be looking to topple Sheikh Russel KC when the second phase of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League begins today after an eight-day break at the end of the first phase.
Three-time champions Abahani, who play away to Feni Soccer Club at the Bhasha Shaheed Salam Stadium today, are currently in third position with 17 points, two points off leaders Sheikh Russel KC. The four-time champions will be looking to get back to winning streak after their goalless draw against Muktijoddha Sangad in the last match.
Feni Soccer Club, at the other hand, are desperate for survival as they lie in bottom with only three points. The hosts have never beaten Abahani in the professional football league having lost six times and drawn only once in seven previous outings. They were thrashed 3-0 at the hands of Abahani in the first-leg match. The hosts though will be pinning hopes on their latest recruits from the mid-term players' transfer window to snatch points from the champions.
Champions of the 2010-2011 season Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club are in second position with 18 points as they face Team BJMC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the second match of the day. Sheikh Jamal DC had strengthened their squad after signing up five foreign players while releasing some of their first-leg players, including Nigerian hitman Mike Otojareri, who was the second-highest scorer in the Federation Cup.
But dislodging Sheikh Russel off the top will not be an easy task for either of the two giants as the Sheikh Russel themselves have made a valuable inclusion to their side in the form of Nigerian Alamu Bukola, who is all too familiar with the domestic circuit and the coaching style of Maruful Haque.
There are other teams who could give the big three a run for their money. Mohammedan, relegation threatened Brothers Union and Arambagh also availed the mid-season transfer window to bring changes to their squads, which is bound to make the second leg all the more exciting.