After notching up their first win against a star-studded Mohun Bagan side, the hosts will try to repeat their heroics against another Kolkata giant...Rangdajied United, who are still fresh from their first ever I-League win last weekend will be hosting a struggling East Bengal side in their bid to notch up their first home victory.
After suffering a dismal start to the season, the hill side has slowly settled down and after the inclusion of a number of experienced players from the IMG-Reliance players pool they have turned out to be a different side altogether. The team secured its first win against a star-studded Mohun Bagan side in their last match and will try to retain that form against a high-profile East Bengal side.
Subrata Paul has been outstanding ever since he joined the club and the players like Gouramangi Singh and Tomba Singh have also helped the club's cause, gelling well with the youngsters like David Ngaihte. New signings Kim-Song Yong and Manandeep Singh have also paired up well upfront and that means Edmar Figueira may have to wait on the bench after recovering from a groin injury.
“I have great respect to Armando Sir, and the great team of East Bengal. But we are very confident and as we were lacking in the last three or four matches after taking the lead and then drawing, I very happy with the last win. I’m happy with the individual performances. I’m sure it will be an entertaining match and we will go for the win,” elucidated Santosh Kashyap, coach of Rangdajied United, in the pre-match presser.
Talking of the Red and Gold brigade, the performance of the team has taken a turn for the bad as they have just garnered a single point from their last two outings and have conceded a number of soft goals. James Moga, who had gone off to play in the CECAFA Cup for his country South Sudan, remains unavailable for the game and Baljit Singh Sahni has joined the squad in Shillong in his place.
East Bengal has also suffered a few injury blows with Ryuji Sueoka, Uga Okpara and Harmanjyot Singh Khabra all picking up knocks in their last match against Mumbai FC. However, all of them are still in the contention of playing in the match and it seems that Armando Colaco will have to wait till the eleventh hour to decide upon his final eleven, with the unavailability of Mehtab Hossain only adding to his woes.
"It’s just that at East Bengal some of the key players have gotten injured and it’s taken a toll on the team. It’s just a question of time. If I have all my players ready, we’ll be much better. Rangdajied is playing good in the continental level especially after beating the other Kolkata team and we are playing at their home. It’s always difficult to come here given the weather. Lets hope we get the win," explained Colaco.
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