East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan I-League: Still 33 points to play for, says Morgan | football | Hindustan Times
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East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan I-League: Still 33 points to play for, says Morgan

East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have everything to play for in Sunday’s derby as only three points separate them in the I-League points table

football Updated: Feb 11, 2017 11:36 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
East Bengal F.C. play Mohun Bagan A.C. in the I-League derby at Siliguri on Sunday.
East Bengal F.C. play Mohun Bagan A.C. in the I-League derby at Siliguri on Sunday. (Prateek Choudhury/HT)

East Bengal have bittersweet memories of this place but being escorted by a motorcycle cavalcade from the airport to the hotel on Friday evening was perhaps just one way of ensuring that they remember only the good things two days before the I-League tie against Mohun Bagan.

It was here that East Bengal won the I-League derby last April but had only a third place finish, five points behind Mohun Bagan, to eventually show for. And in 2005, they went down 1-3 to an already-relegated Vasco which led to the slim chance of a hattrick of National League titles evaporate.

But sandwiched between those two results is the 2012 Federation Cup victory from where Lalrindika Ralte, Arnab Mondal, Mehtab Hossain, Robin Singh and Gurwinder Singh are among those who have travelled here for the 10th I-League leaders who have 19 points from seven games. That 3-2 victory against Dempo in the Federation Cup final also made Trevor Morgan’s 56th birthday special.

In his second innings, this is the first time Morgan is visiting the gateway to the hills where there is still a hint of winter in the evening air. But if it means something to the former Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers centre-forward, he isn’t showing it. “There is no home advantage in such games,” said Morgan, at the team hotel here.

The somewhat taciturn East Bengal coach also pointed out that Sunday’s match would just be a matter of three points. “There will still be 33 points to play for,” said Morgan.

Eduardo likely to play

Mohun Bagan’s Brazilian central defender Eduardo Ferreira could return to action in the Kolkata derby. Ferreira hasn’t played since being injured in the 0-0 draw against DSK Shivajians away. Should he play, it would be his second game with Anas Edathodika as central defensive partner.