The hosts are currently third in the table, while the visitors are fourth.
Churchill Brothers visit East Bengal in a crunch I-League fixture, with the Goans hoping to climb higher in the table at the expense of their hosts. In what could be a highly competitive fixture, both the sides could go full throttle in the Salt Lake Stadium.
In the pre-match press conference, East Bengal head coach Alejandro Menéndez stated, “We are not overconfident anymore. We are just confident. Whenever we analyse the matches with the players, we always make sure to control their overconfidence. They are well-prepared for such matches.”
Willis Plaza is the star striker for Churchill Brothers, currently second in the golden boot race. Regarding him, Menendez stated, “We don’t have plans only for Plaza. We have our plans set to win against the entire team. We are preparing to counter a team, not just a player.”
The Spaniard went on to praise his opponents, and quipped, “they score very easily. If a team scores a lot they are always a dangerous team.”
Meanwhile, Churchill Brothers’ gaffer Petre Gigiu started off by talking about his team’s poor results recently. He said, “I cannot say exactly what happened to us. Maybe the pressure on us was too much and we were not prepared enough to become champions this season.”
He further added, “We will of course play and try to do well but the spirit is not the same as before. We lost many points in the last three games. At the same time we did not have our best XI.”
The visitors have a few key players missing, which could have an impact tomorrow. Regarding this, the Romanian man said, “Many players are absent. But we will try to do our best. We have a very good team in front of us tomorrow. We will play for the spectators.”
Regarding East Bengal, he said, “Collectively as a group, East Bengal are very strong. They have very good players, and very good foreigners. They play as a group and that is their strength.”
Star striker and former East Bengal man Plaza was also present. He said, “I don’t want to prove anything to East Bengal. I have to prove myself in every game I play. We still have three more games and we can notch nine points. We still have the confidence and belief that we can do it.”
Quess East Bengal
The Red and Gold Brigade do not have any major injury concerns at the moment. However, tactical changes can be expected from Alejandro Menendez against the Red Machines on Sunday.
Hussein Eldor, Dawda Ceesay, N Mohanraj and Richard Costa are missing from the Churchill squad.
Quess East Bengal– Dagar (GK), Chullova, Acosta, Borja, Manoj, Laldanmawia, Lalrindika, Aidara, Dovale, Colado, Jobby.
Churchill Brothers– Baskaran (GK), Vaz, Rowlinson, Novakovic, Martins, Aucho, Lobo, Lyngdoh, Gurung, Wolfe, Plaza.
The match will kick off at 5:00 PM on Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. It will be streamed by HotStar and Jio TV.