For the first time in a long time, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting will take on each other in a match where neither could be called favourites.
Whenever the two teams have clashed in the last few years, it has always been East Bengal who have held the upper hand. But that cannot be said for Thursday’s NFL match.
Despite being hammered 5-0 by Dempo, Mohammedan Sporting find themselves on an even keel with their illustrious opponents and even the presence of Boniface Ambani — East Bengal’s Kenyan striker, the only foreigner in the match — doesn’t seem to tilt the balance.
Mohammedan Sporting coach Subash Bhowmick would look to play a 3-5-2, with the five-man midfield hoping to nullify the threat of East Bengal captain Alvito d’Cunha.
A poor performance from East Bengal on Thursday could see the end of the reign of Brazilian coach Carlos Roberto Pereira.
In defence, Pereira would have his hopes on the duo of M Suresh and Cowan Lawrence and upfront he — as well as the fans — would be banking on Ashim Biswas to deliver. He scored one and set up another in the 3-1 win over HAL.
East Bengal v Mohd. Sporting Live on Zee Sports from 2pm
Dempo v Sporting Clube de Goa