East Bengal face tricky Gokulam test
Kozhikode, Feb 16 (PTI) Title aspirants East Bengal will be aiming to ward off a stiff challenge from debutants Gokulam Kerala in an important away encounter of the I-League, here tomorrow.
Currently placed third in the league table with 26 points from 14 matches, East Bengal are likely to face a tricky test from the minnows at their own backyard. Gokulam shocked Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in their last game and can proved to be a proverbial banana peel for Khalid Jamil's men.
But the red and gold brigade will be upbeat after beating Minerva Punjab in an away encounter and that result have now thrown the league wide open. NEROCA are on top with 31 points from 16 games while Minerva are second with 29 points with 14 games as the business end of the league has got very exciting.
For Jamil, tomorrow's match will be "very vital" as their opponents are coming at them on the back of a hard-earned win.
"This match is very vital one for us and they are playing very good football now. We have to be very cautious on the field and eventually, we need a win to stay alive in the title race."
Jamil has entire squad at his disposal and everyone is available for the selection.
"We always prefer to take one match at a time and we won't deviate from our strategy tomorrow. We have to be strong and we need a positive result", Jamil confirmed.
Gokulam coach Bino George said: “We have five matches left, we will try our best to do well.”
George lauded their newly recruited Bahrainian midfielder Alajmi for his stupendous effort of late.
"Alajmi was a replacement to Francis Ambane and he made the right impact on the team."
George righty pointed that the Kolkata outfit will surely go out all guns blazing to garner a win tomorrow. On the other hand, Gokulam will also need to focus on nothing less than three points tomorrow.
“For East Bengal, winning this match is important and in the same manner, it is more important for us also win this particular match