Trevor Morgan's side will try to snatch a win against the Mumbai side after managing only 1 point from their last two outings...
Rehman, Stephen, Amiri ;
Mehta, Caldeira, James, Nicholas;
Gabriel, Opara, Yakubu
Naoba, Raju, Arnab, Soumik;
Khabra, Mehtab, Ishfaq;
Mumbai FC returned to the winning ways by beating United Sikkim 1-0 last weekend, after the 1-4 humiliation in the hands of Air India. Khalid Jamil, the young manager of the side, kept faith in attacking football as all his three strikers, namely Yusif Yakubu, ND Opara and Gabriel Fernandes were given a start in the last match and experienced Abhishek Yadav was also warming the bench. It will be interesting to see whether he starts with the trio upfront especially against East Bengal who have a miserly defence.
The Mumbai side has faced only one defeat in their last seven matches and are sixth in the league table with 16 points from 11 games. A win against the strong East Bengal side at home can give them the boost all mid-table teams need.
Will Penn Orji be back to his best against Mumbai FC?
East Bengal’s impressive 10-match unbeaten run came to a grinding halt last week as they went down 0-1 to Prayag United. Trevor Morgan, though had expressed faith in the current squad and any big performance-related change in the line-up is unlikely.
The likes of Lalrindika Ralte and Sanju Pradhan will be used as substitutes when the opponents start getting tired. The performance of Penn Orji will also be under the scanner as the elegant midfielder couldn’t play his natural game under the heavy marking by the Prayag players in the last match. Morgan will be wary of the fact that teams have realised the key to stop East Bengal's attack which is to shut down Penn Orji.
The Kolkata side has 21 points from their 10 matches, as the fate of the suspended Kolkata derby still remains undecided. They will try to snatch three points from this fixture to remain firm on their title-hunt.
East Bengal:- Uga Okpara was suspended for two matches for the post-match scuffle with Bello Rasaq and this will open avenues for Raju Gaikwad to get some first-team action. Abhijit Mondal is also set to return to the team after an injury. Sanju Pradhan, the captain of side, featured in a match after almost six weeks this midweek in East Bengal’s 4-0 win in the Calcutta League. He may also feature as one of the substitutes, like he has been used by Morgan often.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- East Bengal has won 3 of the last 5 encounters between these teams, Mumbai FC has
won 1 and honours were shared in one match.
- Khalid Jamil, the Mumbai FC coach was born in Kuwait, but has won 7 caps for the Indian National football team in 2001.
- The last time Uga Okpara was absent in a top division game, East Bengal won the Federation Cup final against Dempo SC 3-2 this September.
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