The 10th Round of the I-League , will see two of the India’s biggest clubs go head to head for the 310th time,in all competitions.
Mcdowells Mohun Bagan head into the 9th game of their I-League campaign and are currently unbeaten in the League and in pole position.Kingfisher East Bengal are however way off their next door neighbours and are lying in 5th position , having drawn half of their games so far.
This game will be a good oppurtunity for both teams to get a grip on their current campaign , a win for Mcdowells Mohun Bagan will se them cement their place at the top and will certainly make them very close to that coveted I-League trophy. A win for Kingfisher East Bengal would however make the league wide open and would throw Kingfisher East Bengal right in the mix of title race.An interesting fact is that East Bengal have not failed to score in a single tie so far this season in the I-League, an absolutely heralding statistic on their prowess which they haven’t capitalised on.This game will also mark a monumental for coach Schattorie if he turns the tide against his team. With just one win in their last five encounters with Asian commitments included, ita s easy to spot that the Dutchmana s fantastic side simply havena t clicked.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Mohun Bagan have got 18 points from 8 games and are currently siting at the top of the I-League table,they have a single point lead over Bengaluru FC who are in second place but have played 2 games more.
Mohun Bagan would have their captain and goalkeeper Shilton Paul under the bar for the Green and Maroons , with Bello Razaq and Kingshuk Debnath being preferred as the central defenders by Sanjoy Sen with Pritam Kotal and Shouvik Ghosh occupying Left Back and Right Back respectively. Bikramjeet and Denson are to play in central midfield as Mohun Bagan have opted for a 2 man pivot this season, in midfield. Yusa Katsumi and Sony Norde will be taking their places in Right and Left midfield, with Pierre Boya playing just behind the striker, in the hole with Balwant taking the strikers place. Mohun Bagan will be hopeful of taking advantage of Kingfisher East Bengal’s defence, which has looked jittery all season.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1)Shilton Pal, Kingshuk Debnath, Belo Razaq, Shouvik Ghosh, Pritam Kotal, Bikramjit Singh, Denson Devadas, Yusa Katsumi, Sony Norde, Pierre Boya and Balwant.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Kingfisher East Bengal
Kingfisher East Bengal have taken 13 points from their 8 games and are currently in 5th position , but a win in the derby would throw them right in the midst of a intriguing final few rounds of the I-League, a defeat would however see them miss out on the I-League for another season.
Abhijit Mondal will be keeping his place under the bar, Arnab Mondal and Raju Gaikwad will be pairing each other in Central Defence , with Milan Susak being dropped after a slow start to Life in the I-League, Saumik Dey and Abishek Das will start on the Left and Right side of defence respectively. Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab and Lalrindika Ralte will make up the 3 man midfield for the hosts, with Harmanjot playing on the right side, Ralte on the left and Mehtab will be looking to dictate the tempo of the game from a central position. Dudu Omagbeni , Ranti Martins and Baljit Sahni will make East Bengals 3 man attack and with Ranti Martins in fine scoring form , fans will be hoping the Nigerian can produce a match winning performance on 17th.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3) Abhijit Mondal , Arnab Mandal, Raju Gaikwad, Abishek Das, Saumik Dey, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab Hossain, Lalrindika Ralte, Baljit Sahni, Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbeni.
Katsumi Yusa (Mohun Bagan)
The Mohun Bagan winger will be a constant threat to the East Bengal defence with his pace and skills.The Japaneese international was a major problem for the East Bengal side in the previous derby and coach Sanjoy Sen will be hoping he can put up a similar performance. Katsumi is the highest scorer for the Green and Maroons this term.
Ranti Martins (Kingfisher East Bengal)
The Nigerian striker has been in fine goalscoring form and is the top scorer of the I-League with and astonishing 12 goals from 8 games.The Nigerian scored in the previous encounter to ensure Mohan Bagan didn’t walk away with all 3 points and East Bengal fans will be expecting him to earn the Red and Gold’s a crucial victory .
Revealing his thoughts before the derby,Mcdowells Mohun Bagan Winger Norde said, a I am feeling more confident for the upcoming derby match and the confidence of the team is high as we have started on a winning note by defeating a good side like Dempo, after two-week break, a derby match is a very different game and we have to play to our potential to win,a to the I-Leaguea s official media website.
“The last East Bengal match was my first derby in Kolkata and I was bit excited to play in front of a huge crowd. I was playing as a wing half and my duty was to attack as well as support the defence also. In this derby I would try to give my best for the team and use my potential to the best of my ability and accordingly I have planned with coach (Sanjoy Sen) as to what will be the best for the team in the match,a he added.
Questioned on the quality and the form the team found themselves in, the Haitian international exclaimed, a Mohun Bagan are playing excellent football thus far and we have to continue this performance until the last match of the season. We have to plan match by match as all the teams are doing well in the I-League and if we maintain the current form and stick to basics then there is a good chance for Bagan to win the title. The team is playing as a unit and have been displaying excellent team game for which the result is evident.a
Finally, asked on the role the fans have played so far, Norde concluded by opining they are the most important part of any teama s progress, stating, a The support from our fans have been enormous and I would urge them to carry on their support to the team in all of the remaining games. I am thankful to the fans that they have been with us in our hard time, when we lost in the Federation Cup and they continued to have faith in us. Ita s because of their belief and support that we are in the top of the table of the I-League.
Mohun Bagan 1-2 Kingfisher East Bengal
The battle of the Kolkata Giants will definitely see form go out of the window and the match is expected to be a tight affair , Mohun Bagan would be happy to walk away with a point but Kingfisher East Bengal definitely need all 3 points if they want to compete for the title.But with East Bengal’s defence a major talking point , Mohun Bagan will be looking to exploit it trough the wingplay of Katsumi and Norde. However East Bengal striker Ranti Martins is in fine goalscoring form and he will be someone who the Green and Maroons will be looking forward has an off day on Saturday.TheHardTackle expects a 1-2 win , in favour of Kingfisher East Bengal in the 310th Kolkata Derby.