East Bengal - Mumbai FC Preview: Can Khalid Jamil's men pull off another upset?
Trevor Morgan's troops will be looking to return the favour, after Mumbai FC defeated them in December at Pune....
By Atanu Mitra
Naoba, Arnab, Uga, Robert;
Ishfaq, Mehtab, Ralte;
Costa, Evans, Stephen, Amiri;
Subhash, Mehta, James, Nicholas;
Trevor Morgan’s side will try to recover from their 0-1 defeat, suffered against ONGC, when they face a struggling Mumbai FC team at Kalyani this weekend. On the other hand, the Mumbai side will try to complete a double over their more illustrious opponents.
As the season is progressing, Trevor Morgan's settled pack suddenly has begun to look shaky. Though the striking duo of Chidi Edeh and Manandeep Singh have been impressive in most of the matches, they have struggled to find form in matches recently. The defence has also looked nervous in the last few gameweeks. The Red and Gold now have 27 points from 14 matches played in the I-League
The lack of a fourth foreigner has become the talking point about the East Bengal team. While all other title-contenders had four foreign recruits at their disposal, Morgan kept his faith in the Nigerian trio of Edeh Chidi, Penn Orji and Uga Okpara. The problem is that whenever any of them have underperformed, the coach didn’t have any viable replacement. Andrew Barisic is now set to join the squad, once the January transfer window officially opens.
The team has also missed the services of Harmanjot Khabra and captain Sanju Pradhan in the last match against ONGC FC. It is expected that the two experienced players will be available fot this match. K. Vashum has also returned from his long injury break and may get some share of action as a substitute.
For Mumbai FC, this season of I-League is proving to be a satisfactory one. They are currently on the 5th spot of the league table, with 20 points from their 13 games. Khalid Jamil, their young coach has done wonders with a thin squad and on a low budget. They are unbeaten for the last four matches.
The star performer for the side has been the Ghanaian goal machine Yasif Yakubu. He has scored whenever the team needed it the most. He has scored in the dying moments of the matches against Prayag United, East Bengal and United Sikkim; winning the first two for his side and forcing a draw in the last one. Haroon Amiri has led the defense well with the help of Justine Stephen and Peter Costa. Other than Yakubu, the likes of N.D Opara have also excelled upfront.
It now has to be seen whether the Red and Gold can take revenge of their away defeat. The responsibility of scoring will largely rely on Chidi and Manandeep. Penn Orji has to get back into form, if the supply line to the strikers has to be kept intact. For the away side, the tested soldiers like Yakubu and Opara are likely to make a differences. However players like James Singh have the ability to change the course of a game in a few moments.
East Bengal:- Defender Raju Gaikwad, besides midfielders Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Sanju Pradhan are ruled out on account of injuries.
Mumbai FC: Khalid Jamil will keep faith on his regular players to retain the consistent good performances. However players like Evans Quao can make it to the first XI if they opt for a defensive set-up.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Mumbai FC has a goal difference of zero as they have scored and conceded 22 goals.
- East Bengal had been unbeaten for the first 10 matches of the season. They then went on to lose 3 of their next 5 games.
- East Bengal have conceded the least number of goals in the league (6).
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Top 3 Predictions
East Bengal F.C. 2-0 Mumbai FC
- 16.95 %
East Bengal F.C. 1-0 Mumbai FC
- 13.56 %
East Bengal F.C. 3-1 Mumbai FC
- 13.56 %
|I-League (I-L)||02-Dec-2013||Mumbai FC 3 - East Bengal F.C. 2|
|I-League (I-L)||13-Jan-2013||East Bengal F.C. 2 - Mumbai FC 0|
|I-League (I-L)||23-Dec-2012||Mumbai FC 2 - East Bengal F.C. 1|
|I-League (I-L)||30-Mar-2012||East Bengal F.C. 3 - Mumbai FC 1|
|I-League (I-L)||02-Nov-2011||Mumbai FC 1 - East Bengal F.C. 4|
|East Bengal F.C.|
|02-Dec-2013||Mumbai FC 3 - East Bengal F.C. 2||I-L|
|28-Nov-2013||East Bengal F.C. 1 - United Sports Club 1||I-L|
|24-Nov-2013||Mohun Bagan A.C. 0 - East Bengal F.C. 1||I-L|
|05-Nov-2013||Sporting Clube de Goa 1 - East Bengal F.C. 1||I-L|
|01-Nov-2013||East Bengal F.C. 2 - Salgaocar F.C. 3||I-L|
|8||Thokchom Naoba Singh||Defender|
|30||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu||Goalkeeper|