In a must-win situation,Churchill Brothers will be looking to exploit the home advantage for a win when they take on East Bengal in a crucial match that will decide their fate of winning the I-League title,when both meet on Sunday at Nehru Stadium.
Sunday’s match is crucial for both as they need victory to keep themselves on course for the title race.
Churchill Brothers who have played one match more than East Bengal is on 47 points,the same as East Bengal and Sunday’s match is crucial as a defeat will end their chance of winning the title.
East Bengal who were the favourite to win the title suffered a set back when they lost to another title contender Salgaocar 2-3 after taking 2-0 lead.
Now they have no option but to win all their remaining three matches to keep their chances alive of winning the title.
Salgaocar,at the top with 53 points,have better goal difference compared to East Bengal,Dempo and Churchill Brothers and need a win in their last match against JCT to lift the title.
East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan was disappointed with his team’s performance.
“The boys could not defend the 2-0 lead,instead they succumbed to the pressure built in the second half by Salgaocar and lost the match eventually. Now we have no option but to win all the three matches we have in hand and Sunday’s match is crucial and we require a win to stay in hunt for the title,” stated Morgan.
The good news for East Bengal is the return of their key players- Nirmal Chhetri,Gurwinder Singh and Uga Okpara who did not play against Salgaocar because of suspension but the bad news is that their influential midfielder Mehtab Hossain will be out due to double booking.
Churchill hope will largely depend on how well their midfield function against the rivals’ enterprising attack led by Tolgay Ozbey upfront and supported by Penn Orji,Syed Rahim Nabi and Naoba Singh in the midfield.
With the return of Nigerian Uga Okpara and Nirmal Chhetri,East Bengal defence looks sound to keep the dangerous rival striker Odafe Okolie quiet.
It will be good contest as both the teams need a win,will go all out to attack,the team that is able to dictate the midfield will emerge winners.