Kolkata: With star striker Tolgay Ozbey ruled out due to double bookings, in-form East Bengal will have a task on hand when they take on city rivals Chirag United in a ninth round I-League match at the Yuba Bharati
Krirangan here on Friday.
The mercurial Australian forward, who is joint second with seven goals to his credit, was shown a yellow card, his second in successive games, in their win over Pune FC in the previous match.
East Bengal`s new attack will definitely miss the sting giving an edge to Chirag United, fresh from their win over Mohun Bagan in the last round.
Coach Trevor James Morgan will have his task cut-out as he seek to motivate his new-look forward line-up that will see the inclusion of Biswarup Deb in place of Ozbey, while Delhi lad Robin Singh will also look to rise to occasion.
"Don`t forget football is a team game. Of course we will miss somebody who gets the goals. We have a tough opponents in Chirag United but that does not mean we cannot earn full points. I`ve full confidence on my side," Morgan told reporters.
Chirag United, too, will miss Elijah Junior who is yet to recover from an injury, and Joshimar D`Silva will lead the attack with the likes of Mohammad Rafique and Branco Cardozo.
Having stunned Mohun Bagan in their last match, it will be a real test for Chirag United to get past the strong East Bengal defence who have conceded just two goals from eight matches so far in the league.
They also have another injury worry in star goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal, who had an impressive outing against Mohun Bagan.
"We have to be really watchful against East Bengal, we are yet to be beaten by them, but tomorrow will be another game. We have to be focused to get a point," Chirag United coach Sanjoy Sen, who is in-charge with Subrata Bhattacharya indisposed, said.
The Federation Cup and the Calcutta League champions, East Bengal, with 22 points, are in a commanding position, while Chirag United lie on fifth spot with 13 points.