I-League: East Bengal aim for top spot against Lajong (Preview)

Kolkata, Feb 8 (IANS) Hosts East Bengal would have a chance of going atop the points table if they win against Shillong Lajong in an I-league football encounter at the Barasat stadium here on Tuesday.

The hosts are presently second on the leader board with 11 points, a win would propel them above Bengaluru FC who on top with 12 points.

On the other hand, if Lajong pull off a win they will climb to 10 points, same as that of third placed Mohun Bagan. The visitors are currently fifth.

Both teams are coming into the contest on the back of a win. East Bengal beat newcomers Aizawl FC 2-0, whereas Lajong got the better of Sporting Clube de Goa 1-0.

But stopping the home side might prove to be difficult for Lajong as the outfit is oozing confidence, especially after experienced Bernard Mendy’s arrival.

The Frenchman scored with a top-class header in his I-League debut against Aizawl and was the fulcrum of East Bengal’s attacks in the game.

Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya would, however, be concerned at the form of attacking midfielder Do Dong Hyun and his poor behaviour on and off the pitch. The South Korean was unimpressive against Aizawl and was substituted in the second half.

The 22-year-old did not like the coach’s decision and expressed his displeasure by kicking bottles on his way to the dugout. He was not allowed to practice and fined on Saturday by the team management.

If Bhattacharya decides to play him from the start, he might be extra motivated to prove himself.

Lajong too have quality players upfront and the likes of Brazilian striker Uilliams Silva, with his pace and ball control will be quite a challenge to negate for the East Bengal defence.

The visitors haven’t conceded in their last two matches, which suggests East Bengal might have to worked hard to score and grab all three points.

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