The Red and Gold earned an easy three points as Prayag United won't field a team on Tuesday...
“Yes, we are not playing. We have informed the Indian Football Association (IFA) about that. Our foreigners are homebound as the tickets were booked based on the previous fixture list. We have tried our best to arrange for alternative flights so that the foreigners can reach home after the match. But we have failed as it is very hard to book International tickets this late," Siddhartha Bhattacharya informed Goal.
"Also a major part of our squad are either injured or suspended. We would have missed Deepak Mandal and Dhanachandra Singh for double yellows. Lalkamal (Bhowmick) got the marching orders in the last match and would have missed the match against East Bengal. To add to the worries, the likes of Tapan Maity are not fully fit. Among all these problems, I am unable to field a proper eleven and so we are not playing," he elaborated.
This makes life easy for East Bengal, as they bag 3 points without having to toil for it. This also provides them with some much needed rest before the marquee clash against Mohun Bagan. The Red and Gold are on top of the league table with 21 points from 7 outings while the Mariners are just two points behind from the same set of games played.
The derby on 23rd May will eventually decide where the title will head this season. A win will gift Mohun Bagan its first major title in three years’ time, while a draw will be sufficient for East Bengal to win the silverware.