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Calcutta: It may not have been a display of sheer virtuosity but there was touch of the sashaying amongst East Bengal players, who looked relaxed and composed during practice ahead of Friday’s derby against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan.

Though recent history favours the green and maroon brigade, the year, so far, has gone in favour of East Bengal .

The derby is altogether a different ball game and East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan said their previous wins will count for nought.

“There’s lot more at stake tomorrow. It’s a Calcutta (Football) League game. The Federation Cup is a massive competition but that was a month and half ago. This is a completely different ball game now,” Morgan said.

A wobbly defence made worse by injuries to key players plagues both teams.

While stopper back Sagram Mandi is a doubtful starter for Bagan with a hamstring injury, East Bengal will miss the services of Nirmal Chetri and Naoba Singh in defence.

Chetri and Nigerian Uga Okpara made the red and gold backline almost impregnable.

But Morgan is not too worried as he feels players know their responsibilities and have their task cut out for Friday’s match.

“Although the players may change, the job doesn’t. The job stays the same. I am not too worried because we play the same line,” Morgan said.

Most likely Gurwinder Singh will fill in for central defender Chetri and Saikat Saha Roy will make up for Naoba Singh’s absence.

For Bagan, however, Rahul Kumar might replace Karan Atwal for his patchy show in the last few games. Manish Mathani might also find his name in the starting line-up ahead of mid-fielder Jayanta Sen.

Going by their present form, there’s little difference between the two sides and the team that blinks first in this high-voltage clash might have to slip out.

The crux, however, will be the attack as both teams have a formidable strike force. Jose Ramirez Barreto, Edeh Chidi and Murithala Ali will like to finish without fumbles.

Similarly, the trio of Tolgay Ozebe, Penn Orji and Robin Singh will have to be penetrative enough to gain early advantage to put Bagan under any kind of pressure.

Sri Lanka’s GN Robesh will be the man in charge of Friday’s match. The 26-year old is said to have officiated as an assistant referee in the J-League and also in Singapore and Malaysia. Saji Kurian of Kerala and Francisco Fernandes of Goa will be the two assistant referees.

Both Trevor Morgan and Stanley Rozario will hope their calculations fall into place. But to know whether league’s top-scorer, Murithala Ali, strikes in the derby match, East Bengal assure their supremacy with a draw or a win, or Bagan strengthen their title defence with a victory, tune in to your television sets or find a seat at the Salt Lake Stadium to witness the Friday blockbuster.
YouTube – East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan
East bengal vs mohun Bagan 22nd Feb 2009. SAYANCHAKS | February 22, 2009. East bengal vs mohun Bagan 22nd Feb 2009 kolkata football league results
East Bengal vs. Mohun Bagan All you need to know about East Bengal vs. Mohun Bagan. East Bengal represents Bangals hailing from Eastern part of Bengal , but they also have several
East Bengal Football Club – East Bengal Vs. Mohun Bagan East Bengal -Vs- Mohun Bagan: Head to Head. Tournament, Total Matches, Won, Drawn, Goal Scored. EB, MB, EB, MB. National Football League, 26
Mohun Bagan AC – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Mohun Bagan has carried on an intense local rivalry with the East Bengal Club. The Mohun Bagan – East Bengal rivalry dates back to the day

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