East Bengal will aim to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Peerless in their last fixture a couple of days ago. They need a win against Kalighat MS on Thursday to stay alive in the hunt for the championship. Kalighat MS is one of the weaker teams in the Calcutta Football League, but you cannot write them off.
Alejandro Garcia did not field his best XI against Peerless, a move which backfired immensely. A strong Peerless side took the offensive route from the starting whistle and the hosts were caught on the wrong foot. The well-organised unit often tricked East Bengal’s defenders, coming within scoring distance many times. A 65th-minute penalty kick from Liberian Ansumanah Kromah made the difference between those two sides, even though the ‘red and gold’ brigade was the second-best team by quite some margin.
Spanish forward Marcos de la Espada was all around the place in the last fixture, while it was hard to spot whether Ronaldo Oliviera was present on the field or not. It still amazes why Jaime Santos Colado was left out of the playing eleven in such an important fixture. Wingers Pintu Mahata and Brandon did nothing heroic to change the fate of the game, while Lalrindika Ralte was the only player who played with authority.
With their backs against the wall, the 39-time champions need to win every match from now on. Kalighat MS is a relatively weaker side compared to other teams apart from Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting Club. But, they are going to invite trouble if they have a relentless attitude like in the previous match.
Colado is likely to start against Kalighat MS along with Bidyasagar Singh. Meanwhile, central midfielder Kassim Aidara needs to improve his game after a lacklustre display earlier this week. Side-backs Kamalpreet Singh and Abhishek Ambekar need to make the wings more active. Borja Gomez Perez will have a daunting task in the defence with Mehtab Singh. Moreover, East Bengal needs to play a team game and hope for a positive result.
Kalighat MS are struggling at the present moment. Their only win in the league came in their opening fixture against Calcutta Customs back in July. Since then, they have lost to Bhawanipore FC, George Telegraph, Peerless and Mohammedan Sporting Club. The Anup Nag coached side somehow managed to pull one back after trailing by 3 goals in the last game against Mohammedan Sporting Club. Only a miracle would see them fetching a point in the upcoming fixture.
Jaime Santos Colado (East Bengal)
The Spaniard has been a mainstay at the club since last season. The attacking midfielder is the heart and soul of East Bengal in the final third. His absence was largely felt by the team until he was introduced in the ‘Kolkata Derby.’ Even in the previous match, it was only after he stepped on the field that East Bengal gained a bit of momentum in their game. The coach needs to give him more playing time, as Jaime can make a difference for them in Thursday’s match and in the remainder of the games as well.
Alexander Kouame (Kalighat MS)
The Ivorian is an experienced campaigner and has played in crunch situations before. If Kalighat MS do manage to put East Bengal under some pressure, Kouame may be the one responsible for it. Even though the former Minerva Punjab FC striker has not yet played as per his potential in the ongoing league, Thursday’s match can turn out to be a turning point for him and the team this season.
East Bengal vs Kalighat MS
Date: 12th September 2019
Kick-off: 2:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Sadhna News, Sadhna News YouTube channel
Venue: East Bengal Ground, Kolkata
East Bengal will go all guns blazing in the must-win encounter, and they are likely to inflict a heavy defeat on Kalighat MS
Score prediction: East Bengal 3-0 Kalighat MS