The first-ever Kolkata derby in ISL. SC East Bengal will take on their arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan FC at Tilak Maidan Stadium today, which will be their first game of the tournament.
ATK Mohun Bagan will come from a win against Kerala Blasters FC in the season opener on 20th November but they won’t get the service of Michael Soosairaj who will be out for the rest of the Indian Super League sustaining an ACL tear in the first match after a collision with Prasanth K.
For SC East Bengal, it will be a totally new looking side as the foreigners along with the whole coaching staff is new to the atmosphere and they also started their pre-season pretty late. Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler did not have the time to practice as the other ten teams had. So, it’s predicted that Robbie Fowler and his boys will start as underdogs.
3 Indian Players and 3 foreign players to watch out for SC East Bengal
The three Indian players to look out for are Narayan Das, Bikash Jairu and Eugeneson Lyngdoh. Narayan Das has returned to his old club after a stint with Delhi Dynamos (later Odisha FC), he will be playing as left side back along with Jacques Maghoma ahead of him. He had a brilliant stint with the Delhi based club in the Indian Super League and captained the team on a few occasions, so he will be the one to look out for in this newly renovated East Bengal team. Bikash Jairu, the Sikkimese, has returned back to his old club after having a three-year stint with the Red Miners. His left leg can be useful for Robbie Fowler to use him on the right-wing and his involvement and his speedy runs across the wings will be helpful for the strikers to get some head onto the ball. The other player to look out for is Eugeneson Lyngdoh who did not have a great season with Bengaluru FC last season, but he can be instrumental in this squad. He can distribute the balls to Pilkington and Maghoma.
The three foreign players to look out for are Danny Fox, Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma. Danny Fox was named as the captain of the squad, who came from Wigan Athletic and plays at the heart of the defense. Anthony Pilkington also came from Wigan Athletic and plays as an attacking midfielder and also scored two goals against Kerala Blasters FC in the practice match. He also had goals against both the Manchester clubs during his playing time in Norwich City. Jacques Maghoma will be the other foreigner to look out for. The winger is a Tottenham Hotspurs product. He will be controlling the left-wing and had an impressive performance in their only practice match against Kerala Blasters FC.
3 Indian Players and 3 foreign players to watch out for ATK Mohun Bagan FC
The three Indian players to look out for in ATK Mohun Bagan are Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal and Manvir Singh. Prabir Das had a previous experience of playing the derby matches under 50k supporters and he had been instrumental to his team’s ISL winning run last season. He also started the tournament brilliantly putting three crosses into the box for the strikers and had a passing accuracy of 53%. He will be a trump card for Antonio Habas’s squad on the right flank. Pritam Kotal continued to impress everyone in the new possession from the last season and now after having the armband, he made nine clearances and played a pivotal role in ATK Mohun Bagan’s defense. Manvir Singh will be the last one to watch out for as last match he came on as a substitute for Pronay Halder and straight away started contributing to the team’s attack. He would like to continue his form this match too as it will be his first-ever Derby Match.
The three foreigners to look out for are Carl McHugh, Edu Garcia and Roy Krishna. Carl McHugh will be one as the responsibility will be upon him to stop SC East Bengal’s midfield and also straight away start the counter-attack. He will be the busiest man on the pitch today. Edu Garcia will be the key man in ATKMB’s attack as he has the ability to swing the game in their favor, with not so brilliant start for him in the tournament but this man from Spain can be an asset for his team at any point of time. Roy Krishna, the first goalscorer of the team’s history will be one of the key foreigners to watch out for. He is an asset to the team and will be looking for an early goal.
Lalram Chullova will be out for the season for SC East Bengal as he was supposed to be the first-choice right-back. No more concerns in the East Bengal team.
ATK Mohun Bagan got the first jerk when their striker Jobby Justin went out for the whole season after having an ACL injury, and in the last match Michael Soosairaj got himself injured after having a collision with the defender of Kerala Blasters FC. He is also rumoured to have an ACL tear and will be out for six months. No more concerns in the ATK Mohun Bagan team.
Expected Lineup of SC East Bengal (3-5-1-1)
Debjit Majumder (GK), Samad Ali Mallick (RWB), Danny Fox(CB), Scott Neville(CB), Gurtej Singh (CB), Narayan Das (LWB), Matti Steinman (CDM), Jacques Maghoma (RW), Anthony Pilkington(CAM), Bikash Jairu (LW), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (CAM), Balwant Singh (FW).
Substitute:- Sankar Roy, Rana Gharami, Abhishek Ambekar, Mohammed Irshad, Aaron-Amadi Holloway, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Mohammed Rafique, Sehnaj Singh, Yumnam Singh.
Expected Lineup of ATK Mohun Bagan FC (3-5-2)
Arindam Bhattacharya (GK), Prabir Das (RWB), Pritam Kotal(CB), Sandesh Jhingan (CB), Tiri (CB), Subhasish Bose (LWB), Carl McHugh (CDM), Javi Hernandez (CAM), Edu Garcia (CAM), Manvir Singh (FW), Roy Krishna (FW).
Substitutes:- Avilash Paul, David Williams, Bradden Inman, Jayesh Rane, Glan Martins, Sk.Sahil, Sumit Rathi, Boris Singh Thangjam, Regin Michael.