East Bengal look to build winning momentum in I-League
Fresh from a morale-boosting victory over defending champions Bengaluru FC, Kolkata giants East Bengal will look to build a momentum when they take on Shillong Lajong FC in a Round 4 Hero I-League encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday.
Kolkata: Fresh from a morale-boosting victory over defending champions Bengaluru FC, Kolkata giants East Bengal will look to build a momentum when they take on Shillong Lajong FC in a Round 4 Hero I-League encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday.
The Red and Golds will also be boosted by the return of Nigerian attacker Dudu Omagbemi after a spell on the sidelines owing to a hamstring issue. The former Sporting Clube de Goa striker took part in the team's last two practice sessions and is set to start against the North Eastern outfit.
"Dudu's return will make the job easy for us. When both of us play together, it becomes hard for the opponent defenders to mark. His addition will make us more dangerous," Dudu's partner upfront Ranti Martins said after today's practice session.
Dudu confirmed that he is now fully fit and is raring to go.
"I am completely fit and have no problem. If the coach wants to field me, I will play against Lajong," he said.
Abhinash Ruidas, who scored the all-important goal in the last match, is all set to retain his place in the starting XI, while the defensive organisation is also expected to be unchanged.
Lajong, on the other hand, suffered a 2-5 humiliation in the hands of Pune FC in the last match and will be desperate to take their campaign back on track. The team's frailties at the back were exposed by the Red Lizards and Thangboi Singto has a lot of work to do going into a game against the mighty Kolkata side.
Cornell Glen scored his first goal of the campaign in the last match and that will be a major relief for the side. Uilliams and Penn Orji excelled in patches in the last match and if they can match the expectations, the Shillong side will be hopeful to snatch at least a point from this affair.
Boithang Haokip, who played a key role in the first two matches of the team, will be hoping to feature in the starting line-up again after a one-match hiatus.
East Bengal have also the bragging rights as they have won two of their last five I-League encounters between the two sides while Lajong have won one.