I-League: East Bengal aim to level points with Chennai

I-League: East Bengal aim to level points with Chennai

Published
Hot News
3 min read
Kolkata: Players in action during an I-League match between East Bengal F.C. and Shillong Lajong F.C. at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Feb 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Kolkata, Feb 16 (IANS) Looking to go level on points with leaders Chennai CIty FC, in-form East Bengal will have their task cut out when they take on fellow title contenders Churchill Brothers in a crucial I-League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.
East Bengal, placed third with 31 points from 15 games, are on a four-game winning spree and their 5-0 drubbing of wooden spooners Shillong Lajong FC here on Thursday sent a strong message to other title aspirants that the traditional heavyweights are pushing hard for their maiden I-League trophy.
A win will see the hosts go level on points with leaders Chennai City FC, who will remain top of the tree owing to better head-to-head record. Chennai have beaten East Bengal in both their meetings this season with the same 2-1 scoreline.
"I think now we have confidence but not overconfidence. When we analyse the matches with the players, we make sure we control the overconfidence of the players if there is any. We are preparing them to do well in all the matches," East Bengal's Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez said on the eve of the game.
In Churchill, who are one spot below them at fourth having 30 points from 17 matches, East Bengal will find an opponent who are short of four key players.
"We lost many points in the last three games and at the same time we did not have the best eleven. This match also we don't have Hussein Eldor, Dawda Ceesay, N Mohanraj and Richard Costa. We have many players absent. But we will try to do our best. We have a very good team in front of us tomorrow. We will play for the spectators," Churchill's Romanian coach Petre Gigiu told reporters.
Churchill were held by Mohun Bagan in their last tie and lost surprisingly to Shillong Lajong 2-3 on the road. Before that, contenders Real Kashmir held them to a 1-1 draw.
Churchill will depend heavily on former East Bengal striker Willis Plaza, who is in red hot form. The Trinidadian is the league's top scorer and will also have a point to prove to his former employers.
"We have our plans set to win against Churchill Brothers team and not Willis Plaza alone. I prepare for winning matches and when I prepare the defence it is to counter a whole team and not just one player," Menendez said when asked about Plaza.
"This is a difficult team. They have always been very close to the top of the table and they score very easily. If a team scores a lot they are always a dangerous team," the home team coach added.
Plaza was also asked if he will be a man on a mission against East Bengal.
"I don't want to prove anything to East Bengal. I have to prove myself in every game I play. We still have three more games and we can get nine points. We still have the confidence and belief that we can do it," Plaza said.
East Bengal will once again pin their hopes on the front-three of Jaime Santos, Jobby Justin and Enrique Esqueda to deliver the goods. In their last game, Laldanmawia Ralte netted a hattrick and he will also be high on confidence.
--IANS
dm/kk/ab

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!