I-League: East Bengal hosts in-form Shillong Lajong

East Bengal will host Shillong Lajong at the Barasat Stadium tomorrow, in a midweek fixture of the Hero I-League.

Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto (middle) said his team needed "to approach the game with a winning mentality."   -  I-League Media

East Bengal will host Shillong Lajong at the Barasat Stadium tomorrow, in a midweek fixture of the Hero I-League. The Red and Golds are coming off a satisfying win against Aizawl FC and will be looking to secure all three points at home.

Shillong-based Lajong is also in good form, having won its last two home matches against Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar FC. But the Reds were handed a heavy defeat when they travelled to Bengaluru in the third game week, their only away fixture in the ongoing Hero I-League till date.

Forwards Fabio Pena and Uilliams Souza have been among the goals for Lajong and coach Thangboi Singto will look to them to breach the East Bengal defence tomorrow. Singto reiterated that his team needed to be rock solid at the back while praising their attacking intent.

“We need to approach the game with a winning mentality. The team has improved in attack and defence but not conceding will be the key tomorrow,” said Singto.

Penn Orji will be the vital cog in midfield while the new recruit Yusuke Yamagata, will look to marshal the defence with veteran Aiborlang Khongjee.

Singto was cautious of the opponents and said that East Bengal's strength all across the board was something his team had to contend with.

“It will be a very tough match tomorrow as their Indian bench strength is very strong. No doubt, it will be a challenging match,” he observed.

Biswajit Bhattacharya will be a relieved man as his team bounced back in style after their narrow loss against Bengaluru FC. Bernard Mendy scored on his debut and he operated well from the midfield, a place he is likely to keep in the match against Lajong.

Do Dong-Hyun, who was substituted early in the last match due to a poor display, was in the centre of controversy, as he looked disgruntled at being brought off. The South Korean was barred from training the next day due to indiscipline. However the South Korean seems to have apologised to the gaffer and will look to play a part against Lajong.

Cavin Lobo, who has recovered from his prolonged injury, might get a start in place of C. S. Sabeeth while Joaquim Abranches might feature in place of Dong. Arnab Mondal and Bello Rasaq will form the central defensive pairing.

Lajong will look to make it three wins in a row while East Bengal will look to cement its title credentials after a brief stutter.

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