Kolkata: Under Armando Colaco's coaching East Bengal might have never lost to Mohun Bagan, but come tomorrow the struggling Red-and-Golds will feel the threat to keep their record intact in Kolkata derby of the I-League football fixture at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan. Things have tilted towards Mohun Bagan's favour since East Bengal routed their rivals 3-1 riding on a Ranty Martins brace to lift the local league crown on August 31 last year.
It has been a difficult I-League season for East Bengal, specially after their 1-3 loss to Salgaocar in Goa, and after the bottom placed Bharat FC held them to a 1-1 last evening. Playing a second I-League match within 48 hours, East Bengal would have fitness concerns on the artificial turf. Dudu Omagbemi, who played as a substitute against the Bharat FC, was set to start alongside Martins who would look to do an encore.
The back line would also be bolstered with the return of their central defender Milan Susak. On the other hand, with two wins and one draw, Mohun Bagan have the slight edge and would also have fresh legs to boost their winning chance. Mohun Bagan have got a week's rest since beating Pune FC 1-0 at the same venue, but coach Sanjoy Sen said they were still not favourites.
"It is a different game and the result will be decided on the field... But we are playing well and there's no reason why we cannot win," a confident looking Sen said.
Mohun Bagan would miss their regular captain and goalkeeper Shilton Paul who was yet to recover from an injury with Debjit Majumder set to replace him under the bar.
Sen hinted that their marquee player Pierre Boya might start on the bench, as the onus would lie on the likes of Bello Rasaq, Sony Norde to put them ahead.