All roads in Kolkata on Sunday will lead to the mecca of Indian football as the grandest of clashes takes center stage at the Salt Lake Stadium. ATK Mohun Bagan and Emami East Bengal are slated to face off in one the continent’s fiercest derbies in Asia’s oldest tournament, the Durand Cup. A galaxy of stars of the ‘green and maroon’ up against the band of misfit toys of the ‘red and yellow’ with neither team having had a good run up until now in the 131st edition of the Durand Cup.
19th January 2020, was the last time the City of Joy, Kolkata witnessed the prestigious, historic, and most energetic encounter of Indian football – the Kolkata Derby. Cut back to August 28, 2022, the derby is back in the city! The last two years remained witness to the “Boro Match” being played at Goa inside the Bio-Bubbles and Neutral Venues, due to the COVID concerns. However, times have changed. Emami East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan will go neck to neck in Group B of the Durand Cup 2022, in front of a sixty-thousand gallery at the iconic venue.
The two sides are the most successful clubs in the 131-year-old tournament, having won it 16 times a joint record in the Durand Cup history. The build-up to the “Boro Match” (The Big Game) as it is known in Kolkata has not been ideal. ATK Mohun Bagan suffered a shock loss to Rajasthan United FC by a 3-2 scoreline and then drew 1-1 against Mumbai City FC. In contrast, Emami East Bengal played out two consecutive goalless draws with the Indian Air Force and Rajasthan United.
Stephen Constantine’s army will be fuming for revenge. Secondly, the club is yet to register its first win this season. The previous two matches only earned them two points each. Undoubtedly, the likes of Ivan Gonzalez and Kamaljit Singh will be looking forward to snatching all three points from this game. Meanwhile, In a few days, the Mariners will be playing the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal semi-finals against Malaysian side Kuala Lumpur City FC. What will be a better opportunity than to win the derby and revive the team’s morale?
ATK Mohun Bagan – Meanwhile, the Mariners will be having a fully fit squad going into this encounter and there are no notable absentees. Australian defender Brendan Hamill has been training for the last two days. He will make a place on the reserve bench for the derby.
Emami East Bengal FC – Reportedly, VP Suhair and Ankit Mukherjee are out of this clash. Even Cleiton Silva hasn’t trained much, but no comment can be made about his presence in the squad. Most of the team’s players are unfit owing to the late start of the pre-season.
ATK Mohun Bagan and Emami East Bengal have locked horns with each other a total of 382 times across all the competitions (including major, minor, and exhibition games). The Red & Golds have emerged victorious 136 times. Meanwhile, ATK Mohun Bagan (previously Mohun Bagan) has won 122 matches, while the rest 124 fixtures have ended in draws.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
IFTWC’s Match Predictions
ATK Mohun Bagan are a settled side with arguably the best of Indian talent along with big names from European football. Although the Mariners didn’t have a favorable result in the last two matches, ATK Mohun Bagan have completely dominated both the games but there are still plenty of work left to be done for the Juan Ferrando-led side if they want to get the desired results.
Meanwhile, Emami East Bengal has banded together a team at the last minute, having had to wait for an investor to finalize matters. They have loaned in players from other teams to form a squad that hasn’t had time to gel as former India coach Stephen Constantine at the helm asking repeatedly for patience.
It will be an intense and fierce game for sure as history suggests the team strength doesn’t matter, it’s all about who plays for pride in that 90 minutes. With the stadium expected to be fully packed with supporters from both sides, it will be an enjoyable and entertaining game for the neutrals. But, considering the recent form and bench depth, IFTWC predicts a 1-0 win for the Mariners.
MATCH DETAILS AND TELECAST NEWS
Fixture: ATK Mohun Bagan FC VS Emami East Bengal FC (Group B)
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
Date and Kickoff Time: 28th August from 6 PM onwards
Streaming Platform: Voot App/Website and Jio TV
Telecast Channel: Sports 18 1 SD & HD as well as Sports 18 Khel (Hindi commentary)
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