This will also be the first match at the Sheikh Kamal Stadium, the home of Bashudhara Kings
The Bangladesh Premier League that started on Friday will host its first heavyweight match of the season when the current champions Abahani Limited face the newly-promoted Bashundhara Kings in Nilphamari at 3pm today. This will also be the first match at the Sheikh Kamal Stadium, the home of Bashudhara Kings.
Though Bashudhara are new in the top-flight arena, the big-spending side has already proved themselves as a title contender and they are regarded as the biggest challenge for six-time winner Abahani.
Bashundhara was denied in the Federation Cup final by Abahani and narrowly missed the silverware in their very first appearance in the top flight of the domestic arena.
But the newcomers announced their arrival in style by getting revenge in the very next tournament as they beat the sky blues in the semifinal of Independence cup through a nerve-wrecking shootout.
Following that feat they adorned their trophy case with the title of that tournament by beating Sheikh Russell in the final.
Kings not only spent big but also brought some quality foreign players including Costa Rican World Cup star Daniel Colindres to play aside the young local players in a well-balanced squad.
However, the six-time professional league winner is still the top favourite to win a hat-trick of titles. The club kept most of the players from last season’s double winning campaign.
The Sky-Blues started the campaign at their home in Dhaka on Friday with a nervy 2-1 win against another newly-promoted NoFeL Sporting Club when they had to wait till the 87th minute, thanks to a strike from their striker Faisal Ahmed Shitol. This time, the Portuguese coach Mario Lamos will expect a tougher fight with the stronger team away from home.
Bashundhara, on the other hand, had a brighter start away from home when they edged last year’s runner-up Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club 1-0. The star-studded squad, led by their Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon, will definitely try to make their first ever home appearance memorable.
In the other match of the day, Sheikh Jamal will go away and face off Muktijoddha Krira Chakra at Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium, Gopalganj at 3pm. Both teams started their campaign with narrow losses and will try to turn around their fate in the second match-day.