By Debabrata Majumder
KOLKATA: Having won four matches on the trot, East Bengal will be looking to continue the winning momentum in the ongoing Calcutta Premier Division – A, when they take on Tollygunge Agragami on Sunday at Barasat Stadium.
With 12 points to their credit from 4 matches, a win will take the Red & Golds at the summit of the league table. while Tollygunge, who are on 7 points from as many matches, will be eager to bounce back to the winning ways after suffering a shock 0-2 defeat against Aryan Club in their last fixture.
High on confidence after winning a 4-3 thriller against United Sports Club thanks to a Lalrindika Ralte brace, East Bengal would once again rely on him for goals along with Do Dong Hyun who is likely to make a start after coming as a substitute in consecutive games.
Avinash Ruidas, with his speedy run on the flank, have made it difficult for United SC in the previous match. However, the Tollygunge defense led by Nigerian Kareem Omolaja Nurain is expected to give the Trevor Morgan boys some hard time.
“We have won all our previous matches but I think we haven’t performed according to our strength yet. We have to do much better than this to go the distance,” said Morgan.
On the team news front, East Bengal will be strengthened with the return of experienced midfielder Mehtab Hossain and the first choice right-back Rahul Bheke, who missed the last match due to injury. Meanwhile, keeper Luis Barreto could also return to the starting line-up.
Tollygunge, on the other hand, stated their campaign with a lot of promise and even pulled off the first upset of the season when they beat a strong Mohammedan Sporting Club 2-1. However they lost their next match against a weaker Aryan Club.
Facing East Bengal, Tollygunge Agragami coach Ranjan Chowdhury, who used to be Morgan’s deputy in East Bengal, will be relying on Nigerian striker Joel Sunday for goals upfront. Joining him will be the likes of Surabuddin Mallick, Ram Malik and Reisangmei Vashum who would play a crucial role in the midfield.
“It will be a competitive match. Tollygunge is an unpredictable team. They are capable of surprising anyone. They have a very good midfield and forward line and we need to stay aware of them. But we are keen to be on the winning side,” Morgan added.
Last time when these two teams meet in the Calcutta Premier Division – A last season, it was East Bengal who came out victorius 1-0 and the Red & Golds, a year later, will look to repeat the feat once again.
The match at Barasat Stadium kicks off at 5 pm on Sunday and it will be televised on ETV News Bangla.