East Bengal FC will take to the field against former champions Aizwal FC on Monday with the aim to reduce the gap on leaders Chennai City FC. The visitors on the other han are having a lowly season and will look for a win to get them out of the relegation zone.
East Bengal were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Churchill Brothers in their last game at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan despite dominating the match throughout. The result did give them a bit of setback in the title-race, but the red and golds are still in second spot, five points behind Chennai and with a game in hand.
Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez will miss the services of 2018 World Cupper Johnny Acosta who is facing suspension. Salam Ranjan Singh who has not played since the Asian Cup campaign with India is expected to partner Borja Gomez in defence.
“The team is important and not a single player, I said many times,” Menendez said at the pre-match press conference. On their opponents, he said: “It will be difficult for us. I can’t say whether it is better to play a team fighting relegation.”
East Bengal’s crunch away fixture against Real Kashmir in Srinagar on February 28 is doubtful after the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
“We are not thinking about that now. The Aizawl match is all we are focussing on at the moment,” the coach said.
East Bengal could bring in Jaime Santos back into the starting XI in place of Toni Dovale who has been unimpressive. Jobby Justin will be looking to breach the 10-goal mark with another goal and become the first Indian in both ISL and I-League to hit double figures when it comes to goal output.
Here’s all you need to know about the match:
Match: East Bengal v/s Aizawl FC in I-league 2018-19 season
Where: Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium, Kolkata
Date and Time: February 25th 5.00pm (IST)
On TV: Star Sports network
Live streaming online free: Jio TV, Hotstar app