Churchill Brothers pose a two-pronged challenge to East Bengal who till now, have had their way, ambling towards the I-League summit riding assured strikes from Tolgay Ozbey to easy but increasingly uncanny 1-0 victories. Dogged defending from the lower tier teams has prevented East Bengal from going ballistic, feels Englishman coach Trevor James Morgan.
But Churchill Brothers are no stranger to success on the road and that's why this 12th round thriller could be a yardstick of East Bengal's progress. They have been consistent no doubt but a certain Okolie Odafa will surely invoke a sense of urgency. Heading the pile with 15 goals from 11 matches, Odafa has proved to be Churchill's one-man army.
Saturday will also mark the return of players from national team duty at Doha's Asian Cup. Gouramangi Singh and Steven Dias will be valuable additions to Churchill who are third in the I-League with 22 points. "I think neither Morgan nor I will settle for a draw," says Chruchill's coach, Vincent Subramaniam. If both live up to their word, Saturday might witness I-League's most enthralling match.
In Kolkata: East Bengal v Churchill Brothers.
In Kannur: Viva Kerala v AIFF XI
In Kolhapur: Air India v Mohun Bagan