The Sixth Round of the I-League , will see two of Kolkata’s iconic clubs go head to head for the 309th time , in all competitions.
Culturally, this derby is very similar to Scottish Premier League’s Old Firm derby, since a majority of the Mohun Bagan supporters represent the ‘nativist’ population (similar to Rangers FC) and a majority of the East Bengal fans represent the ‘immigrant’ population (similar to Celtic FC).
If the current form is to be taken into account , Mohun Bagan should be confident of a positive result against East Bengal side, that have yet to hit their stride and with reports of Eelco Schattorie, replacing Armando Colaco the Derby could’nt have come at a better time for the Green and Maroons.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Kingfisher East Bengal
Kingfisher East Bengal have taken 8 points from 5 games, in the 2015 I-League season with 2 wins in 5 matches.Their 2 wins have come against Bengaluru FC and Shillong Lajong, but with one loss and 2 draws they will be hoping that a positive result in the Kolkata Derby can push them up on the table.
Subhashish Roy Chowdhury will be keeping his place under the bar, Arnab Mondal and Raju Gaikwad will be pairing each other in Central Defence , with Milan Susak being dropped after a slow start to Life in the I-League, Saumik Dey and Abishek Das will start on the Left and Right side of defence respectively. Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab and Lalrindika Ralte will make up the 3 man midfield for the hosts, with Harmanjot playing on the right side, Ralte on the left and Mehtab will be looking to dictate the tempo of the game from a central position. Dudu Omagbeni , Ranti Martins and Baljit Sahni will make East Bengals 3 man attack and with Ranti Martins in fine scoring form , fans will be hoping the Nigerian can produce a match winning performance on 17th.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3) Subhashish Roy Choudhury , Arnab Mandal, Raju Gaikwad, Abishek Das, Saumik Dey, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab Hossain, Lalrindika Ralte, Baljit Sahni, Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbeni.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Meanwhile Mohun Bagan have taken 7 points from 3 games, winning both matches against Maharashtrian opponents, Pune FC and Mumbai FC and going into the Derby unbeaten in the current I-League campaign. Odds are certainly with the visitors on current form and they will be hoping to capitalize on their neighbor’s shaky start to the season.
“It is a different game and the result will be decided on the field… But we are playing well and there’s no reason why we cannot win,” a confident looking Sen said.
Mohun Bagan would miss their regular captain and goalkeeper Shilton Paul who was yet to recover from an injury with Debjit Majumder set to replace him under the bar for the Green and Maroons , with Bello Razaq and Kingshuk Debnath being preferred as the central defenders by Sanjoy Sen with Pritam Kotal and Shouvik Ghosh occupying Left Back and Right Back respectively. Bikramjeet and Denson are to play in central midfield as Mohun Bagan have opted for a 2 man pivot this season, in midfield. Yusa Katsumi and Sony Norde will be taking their places in Right and Left midfield, with Pierre Boya playing just behind the striker, in the hole with Jeje taking the strikers place. Mohun Bagan will be hopeful of taking advantage of Kingfisher East Bengal’s defence, which has looked jittery all season.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1)Debjit Majumder, Kingshuk Debnath, Belo Razaq, Shouvik Ghosh, Pritam Kotal, Bikramjit Singh, Denson Devadas, Yusa Katsumi, Sony Norde, Pierre Boya and Jeje.
Kingfisher East Bengal 1-2 Mohun Bagan
The battle of the Kolkata Giants will definitely see, form go out of the window and the match is expected to be a tight affair with both teams looking to earn a point rather than losing all 3.But with East Bengal’s defence a major talking point , Mohun Bagan will be looking to exploit it trough the wingplay of Katsumi and Norde. TheHardTackle expects a 1-2 win , in favour of Mcdowells Mohun Bagan in the 309th Kolkata Derby.