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November 10, 2012 3:00 PM IST
Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex — Pune, Mahārāṣṭra
Referee:‬ R. Shah‎
Penn Orji 75′

Air India - East Bengal Preview: The Red and Gold look to maintain their unbeaten run

Trevor Morgan's unbeaten side face the Airmen, who are fresh from having won their first league game this season...

By John Vaz

I League,East Bengal vs Air India

Jagroop Singh
Baldip, Rahul, Prem Kumar, Gagandeep
Vijith,Thorat,Souvik,M.Fernandes, Pradeep


Naoba, Arnab, Okpara, Dey;
Khabra, Hussain, Orji, Ishfaq;
Chidi, Manandeep

After scoring four goals past ONGC to record their first victory of the campaign, Air India will be hoping that they can carry on this form into their match against East Bengal. The Red & Gold are one of two unbeaten teams in the league, and they surely will want to keep it that way

Coach Godfrey Pereira will not be on the bench as was the case in their last game with Anthony Fernandes taking charge given that there is a dispute over the former's contract with Air India. Fernandes will have to get his act together if Air India are to keep out the might of the East Bengal strikers. With Chidi Edeh and Manandeep Singh upfront, the defense will have a torrid time marking their runs.

Air India will have to defend better

Where Prayag and Churchill have had high scoring games, East Bengal have gone about their business quietly. They boast the best defensive record in the division having conceded just one goal.

On the other hand, Trevor Morgan's men also have the scored the joint lowest total of 3 goals in four matches. With Air India not being particularly good at the back, this could be their chance to add to the goal difference. Penn Orji is certainly the key to East Bengal's attacking fortunes as he is the creative outlet of the team.

Air India depend solely on their industrious midfield with Souvik Chakraborty looking to link up with Ezeh or Junior in order to create some openings. Mehatb Hussain would need to maintain a constant vigil on the Air India midfielders who are often known to have a pop on goal from distance.


Air India:  With no pressing injury concern, Air India will most likely stick to the combination that won their last game.

East Bengal:  Trevor Morgan seems to have a settled line-up with Manadeep and Chidi playing as the front two. Goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal is unavailable due to an injury.

  • East Bengal have won the last seven league meetings between the two.
  • The biggest margin of defeat during that run was a 6-1 drubbing at the Salt Lake Stadium.
  • Head to Head, the Kolkatan outfit have the upper-hand, having won 10, drawn 6 and lost 4 games to Air India from a cumulative of 20 encounters in the league.


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