With a no loss record in their five matches on the trot, Bengaluru FC will take on East Bengal in a crucial I-League football match, a clash between two title contenders, in Bengaluru on Sunday.
Bengaluru and East Bengal are two of the three teams in contention - Mohun Bagan being the third side - and Sunday’s match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium will have a crucial impact on the title race.
Bengaluru are on 26 points from 13 matches while East Bengal have 24 points from 13 matches and whichever side lose tomorrow, they will be in tough situation to win the title as just like last year, this season’s I-League has gone down to the wire.
After tomorrow’s match, Bengaluru play Salgaocar FC (at home) and Mohun Bagan (away) in their last two matches while for East Bengal, they have two comparatively easier games against Sporting Clube de Goa (at home) and Shillong Lajong FC (away).
Mohun Bagan are on 26 points from 14 matches and they play DSK Shivajians (away) and Bengaluru FC (at home) in their last two matches.
East Bengal will be without key defender Arnab Mondal who was suspended for two matches by the All India Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee for using “aggressive/abusive” language towards Mohun Bagan’s Cornell Glen during the Kolkata derby in Siliguri last Saturday.
Bengaluru FC, on its part, will be without the services of Englishman John Johnson, the pillar of their defence as he has already received four yellow cards, the last being in the match against DSK Shivajians FC on Wednesday.
After losing to Mohun Bagan at home in February, Bengaluru have not lost in their last five matches, winning three and drawing two. They were however lackluster in their last match against DSK Shivijians in Pune as they played out a 1-1 draw to squander a chance to jump to the top spot ahead of Mohun Bagan.
Bengaluru had beaten East Bengal 1-0 in their first leg match at Barasat.