After a comfortable win against Kerala Blasters FC, ATK Mohun Bagan will take on their arch-rivals SC East Bengal FC at Tilak Maidan Stadium in the 100th year of the famous Kolkata Derby. Habas’s men have shown their attacking quality in the first match itself, which can significantly threaten all the opponent teams. Still, their defense has not settled properly after the departure of Sandesh Jhingan and the injury of Tiri.
While on the other side, SC East Bengal rebuilt their team this season with some new faces and some old ones. They have started the tournament with a drawn against the Red Miners. The team looked a bit shaky in the midfield, as the debutant coach Manolo Diaz played all four Indians in the middle of the park that had been the reason for not abling to construct the attacks in the upfront. Daniel Chima’s game has not been up to the expectations. Still, Croatian international Antonio Perosevic was up to the mark and created a Hero of the Match performance for the red and gold brigade.
Three Indians to watch out for:
After returning to the club where he began his career, Tangri has been brilliant for the Mariners so far. His work rate in all the games has somehow solved the central defensive problems for Habas. He has been using him both as a central defender and also as a central defensive midfielder. Tangri has impressed in the defensive role from AFC Cup onwards, and he continued his form in the first match of the ISL.
The Goan winger has added strength to the attack in ATKMB’s line-up. He had been in fine form after coming to Kolkata. He scored a goal in the AFC Cup against Basundhara Kings and netted in his debut ISL match for the Mariners. Besides his pace and flair down the flanks, Liston has good passing and crossing skills as well. He will be a trump card for Habas’s team in the left wing and will be a treat to watch Liston and Roy’s link-up.
The shot-stopper of SC EastBengal will be facing his former teammates, where he spent his last four years winning a title and a golden glove. The skipper will be looking to provide a spirited performance from the back as he has been at the peak of form for the last two seasons and has shown his glimpse in the first match.
Three foreigners to watch out for:
In his first season with the Mariners, the Magician has started creating magic from the first match itself, scoring two goals and making one for Roy Krishna. In this derby clash, he will be the leading player to watch out for as the SC East Bengal defense will try to find a way to stop the French midfielder from creating chances.
The Fijian superstar possesses the same threat as he did in his first year in India. He is the go-to man in Habas’s team. Now with the support of Manvir, Liston in the wings, and Hugo just behind him, he will be more dangerous for SC East Bengal’s defense. He will be looking to take his name on the scoresheet for the third time in a row in the derby, as he scored in both the derbies last season.
The Croatian attacking midfielder bagged Hero of the Match in his very first appearance in India and is slowly on his way to becoming a fan favourite to all red and gold fans. His left foot can create a problem for the unsettled Mariners defense, and he will be the third foreigner to watch out in this derby.
ATK Mohun Bagan
Head to Head
In the Indian Super League, these two arch-rivals have faced them twice. On both occasions, SC EastBengal felt short. Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh’s goal in the second half gave the Mariners a comfortable win in the first match. Wherein the second match Roy Krishna, David Williams, Javi Hernandez took their name on the scoresheet as ATKMB registered a convincing 3-1 win, Tiri netted in his own goal.
ATKMB, by far on paper, will be the favourites to win the match, but the derby will always be 50-50. With a new coach and a new set of players, SC East Bengal might need time to settle in.
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