I-League: East Bengal prepare for Indian Arrows test at Kalyani

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Kalyani, Jan 31 (IANS) Kolkata giants East Bengal will be playing host to All India Football Federations (AIFF) developmental side Indian Arrows at the Kalyani Municipality Stadium in the I-League on Saturday.

The Red and Golds endured a tough start to the New Year, with three defeats on the trot, landing a substantial dent on their title aspirations. However, their win against Chennai City has certainly brought a sense of relief in the camp and hopefully, a sign of better things to come.

The Arrows continue to play their experimental brand of exciting football, with Indian National Football Team manager Igor Stimac keeping a close eye on them. Results have been elusive, but growth is there to show for.

“Motivation is not a problem for these boys. We are a young side that is developing and learning with every game and we will continue doing that against Quess East Bengal”, emphasised Shanmugam Venkatesh, Head Coach, Indian Arrows.

He added, “Results matter but fundamentally, we are a developmental side. We have been training hard each day and all the boys have grown as individuals and players over the season. They are giving their all on the pitch each time.”

Speaking on Saturday’s opponents he added, “Quess East Bengal are a very good team. They have great quality in their squad. They have some of the top players in the league and they will come into the match with great confidence, having played well in their previous match against Chennai and won it.”

Red & Golds looked like a completely transformed side against Chennai, with some simple yet effective tweaks paying dividends. Asheer Akhtar has been a revelation at the back and with Marti Crespi returning from suspension, Kamalpreet Singh might have to walk an extra mile in training to retain his position in the eleven. Brandon Vanlalremdika had a brilliant outing as well and might start yet again, at the expense of Pintu Mahata.

Lalrindika Ralte, Captain, Quess East Bengal said, “The mood is very good after a great game against Chennai. Everyone feels positive but a lot of work still needs to be done. Indian Arrows will be a tough challenge. They have young players, who like to run a lot and are great while in possession. It’s not going to be easy.”

Having trailed Mohun Bagan by 12 points just two weeks ago, a win for East Bengal will take them to within six points of their arch-rivals, and subsequently, back in the title race.

The match is scheduled for a teatime kick-off at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast live on 1Sports, with online streaming available on Fancode.

–IANS

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