Yet another derby day in Kolkata as East Bengal face the Mohammedan Sporting challenge...
Armando Colaco’s team are back in action as they face Mohammedan Sporting in a round two’s postponed I-League encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. Due to East Bengal’s AFC Cup commitments earlier in the season, this tie was deferred by five months or so.
East Bengal’s record in Kolkata hasn’t been great as they have won a mere two matches, against Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan respectively, in Kolkata this season in the I-League from eight matches so far.
Despite having one of the best squads this season, they have struggled to find their feet and have been inconsistent. Change of coach, style of play and methodology has yet been ingrained by the squad which has left the fans frustrated with disappointing results.
Colaco has pointed that the players need to adapt and work as a unit. He also bemoaned of a lack of a leader at the club, unlike at Dempo SC where he was previously employed and enjoyed a successful reign.
"Uga (Okpara) is back for the match and he may wear the captain's armband as well. Everybody will take responsibilities and I hope the boys will perform well. The dressing room atmosphere is fine. The stories have been all made up by the media," said Colaco.
Joaquim Abranches has been ruled out of the tie while Gurpreet Sandhu is likely to be benched.
They face a Mohammedan Sporting who are fighting for their survival. However coach Sanjoy Sen surprisingly stated that he isn’t too concerned about relegation.
"We are not under pressure due to Rangdajied United's form. We have to win our own matches and that we know from day one. We will be patient for the first few minutes and then go on attack."
"Sandeep Sangha had a great match against Mohun Bagan. I have yet decided whether Sandeep or Mehrajuddin (Wadoo) will start. I will think about it before the match," said Sen.
The Black and Whites produced a listless performance against an equally woeful Mohun Bagan over the weekend. Amongst the bottom four sides, Mohammedan have conceded the least number of goals (21). However they have also scored the least number of goals, second only to Churchill Brothers (15) with 16 goals to show despite having Josimar Martins who has alone netted on ten occasions.
Luciano Sobrosa has a groin injury but is likely to play while Josimar Martins and Penn Orji didn't practice with the team. Luis Barreto will be between the sticks in place of Ashok Singh.
The last time the two sides met, the score-line was 0-0 in a Calcutta Premier League tie in January.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.