Its football derby time here in Kolkata today with archrivals East Bengal Club taking on Mohun Bagan AC at the Saltlake Stadium at 15.30 IST. The channel Mahua Khabor will be showing the match live.
After all the sadness of Eden Gardens not getting to host the India vs. England match in the upcoming Cricket World Cup, Saurav Ganguly not being picked-up by any IPL franchise, the focus has over the last few days shifted to football with especially East Bengal Club having a great season so far.
But a derby is a derby and anything is possible, which both coaches Trevor Morgan (East Bengal) and Subhas Bhowmick (Mohun Bagan) know very well. East Bengal sit on top of the league with 30 points from 12 matches, undefeated in the I-League so far; while Mohun Bagan are sixth with 18 points from the same number of matches. The green-and-maroon are out of the title race, but surely would like to inflict a defeat to their archrivals and hamper their progress towards the title.
East Bengal have a set formation with only young striker Robin Singh set to miss the match due to a yellow card suspension. For him international striker Sushil Kumar Singh will be playing upfront with an inform Tolgay Ozbey. Otherwise there is no need for Morgan to change his side, which means internationals like Syed Rahim Nabi, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Baljit Singh Sahni will have to sit on the bench.
Mohun Bagan meanwhile are happy to strengthen their backline with players from Team India. The match will see the return of Deepak Kumar Mondal, Surkumar Singh and Rakesh Masih while stopper Anwar will make his debut for Mohun Bagan. Subhas Bhowmick will hope this will give his team more stability as upfront the foreign trio of Jose Ramirez Barreto, Chidi Edeh and Subair Muritala Ali will want to threaten the East Bengal defence.
With such a mouth watering clash on the cards, there are expectations of a large turnout and the Saltlake Stadium could see more then 100,000 fans at the ground today.