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I-League 2017: Injuries throw spanner into Mohun Bagan's Kolkata Derby preparations against East Bengal

8:15 PM IST 06/04/17
East Bengal Mohun Bagan I-League 2017
Mohun Bagan regulars Pronay Halder and Subhasish Bose have been declared unfit for the high-voltage game as both teams fly to Siliguri on Friday...

The reverse leg of I-League 2016/17's Kolkata derby kicks-off in less than 72 hours and Mohun Bagan were given their first major jolt on Thursday as Pronay Halder and Subhasish Bose were ruled out after failing to recover from their respective injuries.

The Mariners chose not to train the day after their 3-1 victory over Abahani Limited Dhaka in the AFC Cup on Tuesday. On Thursday, they announced their 18-man squad, set to travel to Siliguri - the derby's venue for the third consecutive time.

India international Pronay Halder has been missing in action for the last six weeks as his last appearance came in Bagan's 3-1 win at home over DSK Shivajians on 18th February. Left-back Subhasish Bose had to limped off during the AFC Cup game at Bengaluru last month and is still on the treatment table.

Bose will be missed by the Green and Maroons more because the former Sporting Goa man fulfils the Under 22 quota and even his deputy, winger Raynier Fernandes is injured.

Azharuddin Mallick, who started the home game against Bengaluru FC last weekend will reprise his role alongside Darryl Duffy up top. Youth academy product Pintu Mahata finds himself on the flight to Siliguri after his maiden run out in the 3-0 win over the Blues.

Left-back Shouvik Ghosh has been dropped from the squad altogether after his disastrous performances in the few matches he has been considered for selection. Shibinraj Kunniyil will serve as backup to 'keeper Debjit Majumder as Shilton Paul too is out with a niggle.

Both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal travel to the North Bengal hub on Friday. The two teams train at the Kanchenjunga Stadium on the eve of the potential title-decider as both remain in the hunt for the I-League crown.

East Bengal played two practice games against their Under 18 side after the squad assembled post the international break. Trevor Morgan was unhappy with his charges as the first game last Saturday ended 2-2.

However, with Wedson Anselme returning from injury, the senior side humbled the colts 3-1 on Wednesday with the Haitian scoring a goal.

Referee Rowan Arumugham will officiate the game with Kenedy Sapam, Arun Pillai and CR Srikrishna assisting him. The match is slated to kick-off at 7:05 PM on Sunday.