I-League, Round 4: East Bengal vs DSK Shivajians - Preview
East Bengal had three successive away matches so far.
Kolkata: East Bengal will look to make the home advantage count when they take on debutants DSK Shivajians in a round four fixture of I-League football at the Vidyasager Krirangan at Barasat on Tuesday.
East Bengal had three successive away matches including Saturday's derby which was Mohun Bagan's home match as they have one win and two draws to remain third with five points in the league standings.
Having started as 'underdogs' in the derby, East Bengal put up a spirited show to share the honours with bitter rivals Mohun Bagan in their 1-1 draw. Youngsters Bikash Jairu, Under-22 recruit Abhinas Ruidas and Rahul Bheke were impressive for the red-and-gold brigade.
Ranty Martins put them ahead from a brilliant half volley in the 63rd minute after being put through by Jairu.
The team would want their South Korean star recruit Do Dong Hyun, recovering from a calf injury, to get back his silken touch as they take on a struggling Shivajians who are yet to score a goal in the top tier tournament.
"We have to get the home advantage into count and get back into winning momentum," East Bengal coach Biswajit Bhattacharya said as they have a series of home matches lined up including against heavyweights Bengaluru FC in round five on January 30.
The latest team from Pune team are seventh in the table with one point from two matches and they have come here after suffering defeat to another newcomers Aizawl FC 0-2 in the last round.
The Shivajians have seasoned I-League names in Maidan veteran Subrata Paul, three foreign signings in Haroon Amiri, Douhou Pierre Dipanda and Mohammad Rafi while coach Derrick Pereira will look to start afresh.
They also have a wide range of young talent including Lallianzuala, who scored a couple of goals for India at the recent South Asian Football Federation's (SAFF) Championship.