One of the most bitter rivalries of Indian football will be on display once again when giants East Bengal take to the field against Mohun Bagan in the I-league on 27th January. The Kolkata derby is one of the most anticipated matches in amongst the Indian club football frenzies. This derby match is more than just a game, not just for those participating in the pitch but also for the fans watching across the country. It’s a matter of tradition, prestige and bragging rights as to who prevails as the best team in the city of joy, where people live and breathe football.
Every goal scored, every clearance made, every tackle, and each save will count when these two collide at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium).
In their last encounter, it was the East Bengal football club that emerged victorious in a 3-2 thriller. The goals were scored by Ralte Laldanmawia (17’62) and Jabby Justin (44′) for the East Bengal, whereas the Mariners goals were scored by Azharuddin Mallick (13′), who opened the scoring and Asier Dipanda ( 75′). The sending off of Kingsley Obumneme at the hour mark was the key event of the match as that gave a major boost for the Red and Golds to capitalize.
As it stands, it is East Bengal who have the edge in the I-league table as they are on the fourth position with 22 points, whereas Mohun Bagan is at the sixth position. However, it is just one point that separates the two sides and a win could either extend the gap for the Red and Gold or give the Mariners a jump ahead.
When the two arch-rivals meet again, Mohun Bagan will be looking for revenge, whereas East Bengal will to do a double over their opponents.
Mohun Bagan: WWLLW
East Bengal: WLWDW
Here are the players to watch out for in the Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal clash on 27th January:
Sony Norde (Mohun Bagan): He is Mohun Bagan’s main man. Norde is very popular amongst the Mohun Bagan faithful and rightly so- he has helped the side attain a commendable position in recent years. He also guided the Green and Maroons to the I-league title in 14-15 season and Super cup in 15-16. Although the Haitian international had suffered an injury that kept him out of action in the previous derby clash, will be crucial for Bagan in the upcoming encounter. His work rate and goal-scoring abilities makes him a menace amongst the opposition defenders.
Jobby Justin (East Bengal): He scored a goal for his side in their previous encounter against the Mariners and will aim to emulate his performance this time around as well. The Keralite has been on the best performers in the 2018-19 season of the I-league and will be a crucial player for East Bengal. Justin plays as a forward and posses great goal-scoring skills.
Aser Dipanda Dicka (Mohun Bagan): The Cameroon international has been at the center of events in the previous clash of this fixture as well. He famously scored a brace in the encounter before the last one. His strength and ability to hold defenders off are key qualities. He will be another crucial player for the Mariners.
Ralte Laldanmawia: The Manipur-based star stole the show in their last encounter as he scored a brace to help East Bengal secure a win. He has the pace and his positioning skills are on point. The Bagan defenders will keep an eye on this one in order to avoid him from being a menace again.