It's time for the more than a 100-year-old Kolkata derby in the soil of Salt Lake Stadium, as the two power houses East Bengal and Mohun Bagan come against each other in the I-League. The football fans of the city will again be divided into two, for the hours of ambitious game to be played between the Red & Golds and The Mariners. As always, a lot of spectators can be expected at the Salt Lake on Sunday.
East Bengal after making a good start this season, fell back with three consecutive defeats. A win against Neroca FC was followed by the 3 points from Shillong Lajong. However, East Bengal faced defeats from Chennai City, Aizwal FC and Minerva Punjab before the 3-1 victory against Gokulam Kerala.
The club, managed by Alejandro Menendez, currently stands 6th on the points table with 9 points. A positive goal difference has helped them keep a position two spots up.
Mohun Bagan started off the season with 2 back-to-back draws. They continued the campaign, emerging victorious against Indian Arrows and Real Kashmir, before giving away the points after a loss against Churchill Brothers.
In the last fixture the Mariners have played, they shared points with Chennai City. Mohun Bagan are 8th on the points table with the same 9 points from 2 wins and 3 draws. A negative goal difference has put the team behind rivals East Bengal and Kerala side Gokulam.
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Match Information
Date: 16 December 2018
Kickoff: 5 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and hotstar.com
Live commentary on Sportskeeda.
Venue: Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Team News
East Bengal had an injury concern with play-maker Mahmoud Al Amna before the start of the season and the midfielder was released by the club a few days ago. The club has signed Jaime Santos and Toni Dovale (former Bengaluru FC) to bolster their squad. Jaime is available for selection while Dovale is yet to complete his visa formalities. Ahead of the derby, striker Enrique Esqueda too has been injured and is expected to remain out for six to eight weeks.
Mohun Bagan too have been deeply hit by injury news. Haitian forward Sony Norde remains a big doubt for the game. Norde has not yet recovered completely from a groin injury and it will be a gamble for Mohun Bagan if the manager decides to let him start. Pintu Mahata and Sukhdev Singh remain injured and are sure to miss the derby.
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Probable Lineups
East Bengal (4-4-2): Rakshit Dagar, Lalram Chullova, Salam Ranjan Singh, Borja Gomez Perez, Manoj Mohammad, Laldanmawia Ralte, Kassim Aidara, Lalrindika Ralte, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Jobby Justin, Jaime Colado
Mohun Bagan (4-2-3-1): Sankar Roy, Arijit Bagui, Kingsley Obumneme, Lalchhawnkima, Abhishek Ambekar, Sourav Das, Yuta Kinowaki, Sk Faiaz, Omar Nabil Elhussieny, Dipanda Dicka, Henry Kisekka
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Form Guide
East Bengal: W-L-L-L-W
Mohun Bagan: D-W-W-L-D
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Head-to-Head
All competitive matches
East Bengal: 125
Mohun Bagan: 109
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Key Players
One of the names that came close to making India's 34-men probables for the Asian Cup was East Bengal striker Jobby Justin. The 25-year old has been enjoying the best of his football times for the Kolkata giants as he has scored 4 goals and assisted 1 from the 6 matches. Justin remains the only Indian player in the top 5 goal scorers of the league so far. Without any room for doubt, this Kerala-born forward will be Red & Golds most lethal weapon.
Mohun Bagan too would be taking field eyeing a bag full of goals. With Sony Norde doubtful in the lineup, all eyes will be on Aser Dipanda. The player from Uganda has netted 3 goals this season and would be on a run to keep his 'Best Striker of I-League Award' from the 2017-18 season. Dipanda's experience of the derby from the previous season will be crucial in attack for Bagan.
East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan: Predictions
Both the teams have both pride and points to play for. Just like they need to keep their records well, they also want to keep their chances well in the league. With East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, both remaining with 6 points, a win would take either of them to a much needed higher position. In a meeting of the two clever, but new tacticians, a draw might be all that is in the house for the fans.
Predicted Score - East Bengal 1:1 Mohun BaganPublished 14 Dec 2018, 21:38 IST