I-League: East Bengal welcomes Mumbai FC

"Mumbai FC is a very good team. You can't go by their standing in the Hero I-League. Every team lose to some other team and so the standings does not reflect directly on the performance," said East Bengal coach Biswajit Bhattacharya.

Coaches Biswajit Bhattacharya and Khalid Jamil at the pre-match conference.   -  I-League Media

A buoyant East Bengal is all set to take on Mumbai FC at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata in the I-League round-15 encounter. The team, having answered the critics in style through a Kolkata derby victory against arch rivals Mohun Bagan, will now be looking to maintain the momentum as I-League reaches its final stages.

East Bengal gaffer, Biswajit Bhattacharya, did not accept that he is under any pressure, even when the team was very much in the title race.

"Obviously, there is pressure but we have to take one match at a time and we have to win all our remaining matches and that is how we can go about this," said Bhattacharya.

Do Dong-Hyun, who was the hero of the derby, having scored a brace, is favourite start along with Ranti Martins, who is looking determined to finish as the top scorer second season on a trot.

Speaking about Mumbai FC, Biswajit stated, "Mumbai FC is a very good team. You can't go by their standing in the Hero I-League. Every team lose to some other team and so the standings does not reflect directly on the performance."

Arnab Mondal, who was 'show caused' for his alleged racist remark in the derby encounter, is all set to link up with Bello Rasaq at the centre of defense.

Khalid Jamil, Mumbai FC manager, meanwhile, needs a turnaround soon as his team languishes at the bottom of the table. The Mumbai team was really unlucky in losing out against Bengaluru FC by a solitary goal the other night.

"Yes we are last in the league right now but we drew against East Bengal at home, but this is an away match so we have to fight hard", Jamil sounded confident yet grounded ahead of the herculean task ahead.

Jamil had his full contingent available to him save Eric Brown who was absent. Taisuke Matsugae will have to work hard in the midfield to come out with a positive result from the encounter.

The former Indian defender did not say that his team would have any special plans for the dangerous duo, Ranti Martins, and Do Dong-Hyun.

"All of them are very good players and we have to defend as a unit. I don't have any special marking plans for any individual," Khalid admitted.

In the closely-contested Hero I-League, a win for Mumbai can take it to as high as fourth in the table while the Kolkata-based team has a chance to ascend to the very top.

Both teams will look to eke out a win nonetheless with very different motivations whatsoever.

  Dugout videos