East Bengal, Chirag United keen to turn tables

Kolkata: Desperate for a win, local outfits East Bengal and Chirag United will take on each other in a round 24 match of the I-League at Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Tuesday.

Just one point above the drop zone, East Bengal disappointed supporters in their last match after bottom-rung Sporting Clube de Goa walked out with a 1-1 draw, in a match that saw their inspirational striker Bhaichung Bhutia missing out because of the recurrence of a hamstring pull.

The cloud of uncertainty over Bhutia still persisting, East Bengal will have to depend on the likes of Abel Hammond and Yusif Yakubu upfront in case the India captain fails to get fit on time.

Their coach Phillippe de Ridder has admitted that their side was missing quality strikers in the last match.

“I am sorry for the fans. If I stay back, I would just tell the officials to get a few good strikers,” he said after their side squandered chances aplenty for yet another time.

Out of the title contention, Chirag, who had held the lead in the initial stages of the league, have a realistic chance to finish among the toppers. But winless in six matches, the Anjan Nath-coached side too are struggling to convert their chances.

The team will once again depend on their key Brazilian forward Joshimar Martins who has 15 goals so far.

Chirag will not get the services of midfielders Jayanta Sen and Shylo Tulunga who have been ruled out because of injuries.

Chirag have 32 points to be on fifth spot, while East Bengal have 21 and languishing at the ninth place.


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