With both sets of fans calling for a boycott, East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan put an interesting end to their league season by facing each other in the Kolkata derby.
The Torch Bearers claimed a motivating 1-0 win over Shield Winners Mumbai City FC while the Green and Maroons confirmed their place in the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over Kerala Blasters.
EBFC vs ATKMB Match Details
Date: Saturday, 25 February 2023
Time: 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
EBFC vs ATKMB Match Preview
Despite a much improved season in the ISL than the first two, East Bengal fans were left frustrated again by the mismanagement of the board as a ticket fiasco hit just before the Kolkata derby. This only added fuel to the fire that has been bubbling over the years for faulty team building and failed transfer windows. A side of stature like East Bengal not being able to make the ISL playoffs for a third straight season is deeply concerning yet recent positivity brought in their performance could help turn fortunes in the future. The Red and Golds became only the second side to beat record-breakers Mumbai City FC and the first to do it at the Mumbai Football Arena in the last match. They now wish to translate that momentum to clinch the first Kolkata derby win in the competition. So far, Stephen Constantine’s men have lost all the meetings with their fierce city rivals. With nothing at stake in their last game of the season, East Bengal will be up for a fight to change the dismal record even though the result of the match will not change their ninth-place finish on the table.
Mohun Bagan supporters have shown their displeasure with their club’s identity getting compromised repeatedly by the club officials’ inadequate thought on legacy building and fan engagement. It has been running since the entity came into effect in the year 2020 and this derby will be no different although their rivals will join them in the supposed boycott. Whatever limited numbers turn up at the Salt Lake stadium, the Green and Maroons will try to maintain their excellent streak in this meeting, not leaving it too late to decide their fate with a place in the top six now secured. Juan Ferrando’s men were once the favorites to drop out of the playoff spot but they cemented their place with a 2-1 win against Kerala Blasters. Both of the goals came from an unlikely source in Carl McHugh. The victory brought much relief to the camp with the target now to secure the home fixture of their eliminator tie. No better to test themselves in a derby like this before the crucial game in March.
EBFC vs ATKMB Team News
East Bengal will be without the injured Ivan Gonzalez for the derby. Irrespective of his fitness, he has lost his starting place in the team with Charalampos Kyriakou taking the center-half position for the last few games. Cleiton Silva will be aiming to add to his 12th strike for the season as his nearest golden boot challenger Diego Mauricio of Odisha FC will have the advantage of at least one more game in the playoffs to overtake his same number of goals.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s season has been disrupted by injuries and last match’s scorer of the brace, Carl McHugh added himself to the treatment table. The Irishman is a doubt for the clash although he can make a place on the bench for Saturday. Center-back Brendan Hamill is suspended after crossing the limit of yellow cards so Juan Ferrando will turn to Slavko Damjanovic to fill the role.
EBFC vs ATKMB Predicted Lineups
EB: Kamaljit Singh; Sarthak Golui, Lalchungnunga, Charalampos Kyriakou, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Suhair VP,
Alex Lima, Mobashir Rahman, Naorem Mahesh; Jake Jervis, Cleiton Silva
ATKMB: Vishal Kaith; Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Slavko Damjanovic, Subhasish Bose; Carl McHugh, Glen Martins; Manvir Singh, Hugo Boumous, Ashique Kuruniyan; Dimitri Petratos
EBFC vs ATKMB Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Kamaljit (8)
DEF: Asish (8.5), Bose (9), J Lalrinzuala (7.5)
MID: Suhair (8.5), Lima (8.5), Boumous (9), Mahesh (9)
FW: Manvir (8), Petratos (9), C Silva (9)
Vice-captain: Dimitri Petratos
Captain: Cleiton Silva
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