MHB vs QEB Dream11: The season's first Kolkata Derby is set to be played at the iconic Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) on Sunday as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal go for the bragging rights.
Just days after it was announced that ATK have bought 80% stakes in Mohun Bagan, comes the Kolkata Derby on Sunday. This is the only fixture in Indian football which doesn't need extra ingredients to spice things up, for it is the flagship game in India, with almost all the football fans in this country watching either the action unfold live inside the stadium or on their gadgets.
But the news of Mohun Bagan playing under new name ATK Mohun Bagan from next season in the Indian Super League has overshadowed the game itself. There is a feeling that this is perhaps the last time these two heavyweights clash under their original names, with the sense of bidding goodbye prevailing amongst the fans.
Form and recent results:
Host: Mohun Bagan
Visitors: East Bengal
Match Venue: Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)
Match Timing: Sunday, January 19, @05:00 PM
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Mohun Bagan Team News: The Green and Maroons have been the best team in I-League this season, with the offence and the defence both ranked the best at the moment. This is down to Bagan head-coach Kibu Vicuna's tactics, as he has got the best out of young players like Subho Ghosh and Nongdamba Naorem. The latter has impressed perhaps the most, with his movement on the left flank troubling the opponents. Subho Ghosh, on the other hand, is lading the I-League with three goals.
Then there is Fran Gonzales, who is pulling the strings from the midfield. His towering presence in the midfield, intelligent movement both with and off the ball has benefitted the team. Joseba Beitia, in his first taste of the derby, will be looking to make his mark in grand fashion, on a grander stage.
Mohun Bagan key players:
Fran Gonzales, Sobhu Ghosh, Nongdamba Naorem
East Bengal team news: East Bengal are struggling at the moment, and lost the form at the worst possible time, ahead of the derby. But head coach Alejandro Menendez was unmoved by his team's lack of form, “15 days ago we were top of the table. It was almost one year without losing a game in the I League. I think judging on two games is a short perspective. You have to have a bigger picture. We lacked in certain situations. We made some mistakes at some moments but that happens,” he said ahead of the game.
Menéndez made two changes in the last game, replacing centre-back Mehtab Singh with Asheer Akhtar and Abhijit Sarkar with Pintu Mahato. Bengal may have lost 1-3 to Gokulam, but the Kolkata giants impressed in parts. So expect Bengal to be more or less the same as they were in the last game.
East Bengal key players:
Jaime Santos, Kassim Aidara, Marcos
Mohun Bagan: Sankar Roy (GK), Dhanachandra Singh, Daneil Cyrus, Fran Morante, Ashutosh Mehta, Sheikh Sahil, Fran González, Nongdamba Naorem, V.P. Suhair, Joseba Beitia, Baba Diawara
East Bengal: Lalthuammawia Ralte (GK), Kamalpreet Singh, Asheer Akhtar, Martí Crespí, Abhishek Ambekar, Pintu Mahato, Lalrindika Ralte, Kassim Aidara, Juan Mera González, Jaime Santos, Marcos
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