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I-League 2018-19: 3 things that East Bengal need to address immediately to rescue title bid

Avik Roy
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
629   //    03 Dec 2018, 19:27 IST

East Bengal players in training
East Bengal players in training

East Bengal have started the I-League season in a fashionable manner, winning the first two matches away from home. Moreover, the performance of the players and their ability earned praise from all quarters and even the fans started dreaming about winning the I-League.

What transpired in the next two matches was unexpected from them. Heart-breaking losses against Chennai City and last boy Aizawl FC have left the Red and Golds in a spot to bother. Though East Bengal have played at least a match less than their opponents, this is the perfect time for them to rise and make the occasion memorable.

EB were on top of the table after two rounds of the league but are now languishing at the eighth position now with six points from four matches. There are still 16 matches to be played and East Bengal will have to target at least 30-35 points from them in order to win the elusive I-League.

They will face a big task against defending champions Minerva Punjab FC on Tuesday. Though Minerva are not in the form of last year, they still have the ability to cause an upset. East Bengal should be cautious not to slip of their own peel.

Minerva are in good form because their recent win against Indian Arrows and they will try to pull off an upset to revive their campaign.

Before the East Bengal v Minerva Punjab match at 5 pm on Tuesday, we present 3 things that East Bengal need to immediately address.


#3 Need to use the familiar home support

East Bengal have a major fan base and they are always behind the team irrespective of the result. But the recent slump in form has concerned them, especially the defeat against Aizawl FC. East Bengal lost their first home match against Chennai City and another loss is sure to invite criticism.

Apart from some foreigners, most East Bengal players are familiar with the home ground and they need to use the atmosphere to put pressure on their opponents. More than 20 thousand people turn up to watch EB games, a major plus point for them.

East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez also acknowledged the fact during the pre-match press conference on Monday and said, “If we play at home, this is an advantage for us. But we are not feeling any pressure. We are considering it as any other match.”

Defender Borja Gomez agreed. “I love to play in Kolkata rather than in Shillong or Aizawl. The crowd is amazing. We want to register our first win here tomorrow.”

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