I-League: East Bengal set for Indian Arrows challenge

The Red and Golds endured a tough start to 2020 with three defeats on the trot landing a substantial dent to their title aspirations.

East Bengal endured a tough start to 2020 with three defeats on the trot.   -  AIFF

 

Kolkata giants East Bengal will host All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) developmental side Indian Arrows in its I-League campaign at the Kalyani Municipality Stadium on Saturday.

The Red and Golds endured a tough start to 2020 with three defeats on the trot landing a substantial dent to their title aspirations. However, their win against Chennai City has certainly served as a sense of relief in the camp.

The Arrows continue to play their experimental brand of exciting football, with Indian football team coach Igor Stimac keeping a close eye on them.

“Motivation is not a problem for these boys. We are a young side that is developing and learning with every game and we will continue doing that against East Bengal,” said Shanmugam Venkatesh, head coach, Indian Arrows.

He added, “Results matter but fundamentally, we are a developmental side. We have been training hard each day and all the boys have grown as individuals and players over the season.”

For East Bengal, Asheer Akhtar has been solid at the back. Brandon Vanlalremdika had a brilliant outing as well and might start yet again, at the expense of Pintu Mahata.

East Bengal captain Lalrindika Ralte said, “The mood is very good after a great game against Chennai. Everyone feels positive but a lot of work still needs to be done. Indian Arrows will be a tough challenge. They have young players, who like to run a lot and are great while in possession. It’s not going to be easy.”

Having trailed Mohun Bagan by 12 points just two weeks ago, a win for East Bengal will take them to within six points of their arch-rivals, and subsequently, back in the title race.

Aizawal FC to meet Real Kashmir FC

Aizawl will be looking to pick up their first win of the season, against Real Kashmir, at home as their home form has been a major concern for coach Stanley Rozario.

Playing Real Kashmir for the first time in the season, Rozario said, “In the last four games, we went in front but then, we conceded and ended up dropping points. We are creating more goal-scoring chances in the last 15 minutes in every game but that’s just a number.”

East Bengal vs Indian Arrows: 5 pm

Aizawl FCS vs Real Kashmir: 2 pm

(live on 1 Sports and live streaming on Fancode)

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