It's a clash between the Red and Gold who have conceded a bare minimum against the highest scoring team in the I-League so far...
Okpara, Arnab, Naoba, Soumik;
Dhanachandra, Gouramangi, Rasaq, Chinta;
Asif, Biswas, Lalkamal;
East Bengal has been one of the most consistent sides of the league this season. The unfinished derby may have shaken the team’s focus a little. Their 33-match unbeaten streak in the domestic matches came to an abrupt end when they lost to Aryan 1-2 in their Calcutta league match on Thursday.
The responsibility of scoring will largely be on the shoulders of Chidi Edeh and Manandeep Singh. The East Bengal defence is high on confidence after managing nine clean sheets in their 10 outings in the I-League this season.
Mehtab and Penn have been as extraordinary as ever, snatching and passing the ball with elegance in the midfield. Mehtab will try to get hold of Hernandez, to cut the supply line to Ranti. Ishfaq will swap between the wing and the central midfield to work as a defensive screen when the opponent is attacking.
On the other hand, pressure is mounting on Prayag United’s new coach Eelco Schattorie as his team has not won any of its last four I-League matches. They had started the season on a high note, beating Air India and Mohun Bagan in the opening two fixtures. But as they could bag only 1 point from the next two matches, coach Sanjoy Sen was handed the pink slip.
Schattorie started his reign with thrashing United Sikkim 10-1 in a match that saw Ranti scoring five and assisting three. Ranti, with 13 goals already to his name, is the only player performing regularly for the team. The young Indian players have not been that successful to match the performances of the big-signings of the team.
The unexpected steep decline in the form of Subrata Paul has made the situation worse. The defending has become poor, with Rasaq losing form with time. The team is basically struggling to settle down under their newly-appointed Dutch coach. It will take experienced campaigners like Lalkamal Bhowmick to take the team out of this trouble. In the defence, Gouramangi Moirangthem should take more responsibility to stop the prolific attacking line of East Bengal.
East Bengal: Since, most of the first-team players were rested in the mid-week fixture, it is expected that Morgan will field the set first XI in the Prayag match. With Sanju Pradhan doing good with his rehabilitation process, there is a possibility that he might make it to the bench on Sunday. Lalrindika Ralte and Robin Singh will be injected into the action once the opponent starts getting tired.
Prayag United SC: Carlos Hernandez has again become regular in the side after sorting out the disciplinary issues. The former Costa Rican midfielder will play just behind the strikers to help their talisman Ranti score.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Per Henrikson, the goalkeeper coach of Prayag United will part ways with the team after this match.
- Prayag had won the last encounter of these teams by a lone Kayne Vincent goal on 31st January, 2012.
- Prayag United has scored 27 goals in this edition of the I-League, which is the highest among all teams. East Bengal has conceded only one goal in their 10 matches this season, the lowest in the league.
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