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I-League 2018: Gurwinder Singh to replace Arnab Mondal against Chennai City FC

371   //    23 Feb 2018, 20:29 IST

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East Bengal is on the hunt for their maiden I-League title

What's the story?

I-League contenders East Bengal will be missing the services of veteran defender Arnab Mondal in the all-important clash against Chennai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday afternoon due to suspension.

As per coach Khalid Jamil, Gurwinder Singh will replace him as the central defender in the upcoming tie. The Kolkata side conceded a goal in the 87th minute in the last match and lost three points in Kerala.

In case you didn't know...

East Bengal is one of the top three teams chasing their maiden I-League crown this season, but their loss against Gokulam FC in their last encounter was a setback to their title dreams. Not only that, captain Arnab Mondal was shown the red in the dying minutes of the match and consequently lost the opportunity to play against Chennai City FC.

The heart of the matter

“Gurwinder will be the substitute for Arnab Mondal. Whether he will be playing in the Xi will be decided later, but he will be in the first eighteen,” said Khalid Jamil at the pre-match press conference.

It is also likely that Gurwinder will be named if he is fielded throughout the match tomorrow. East Bengal will be playing at the Salt Lake stadium after a long time, but Khalid feels the change in venue won’t make any difference in their approach.

What's next?

The red and gold brigade has three matches left this season and their first priority is to win each and every one of them. Then, they will have to hope Minerva Punjab lose at least 3 points in the remaining fixtures to get a superior goal difference. NEROCA FC is currently at the top of the standings with 31 points with one match remaining.

Author's take

The Kolkata giants have the best chance to win the League apart from Minerva Punjab FC, though the North Indian side has a 3-point advantage. Heavyweights East Bengal is without a National League title for more than a decade, and it will be interesting to see whether Khalid Jamil can win two I-League’s in two consecutive seasons.

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