Robbie Fowler begins his stint as coach of SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL) with probably the most important match of his club when East Bengal takes on ATK Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa behind close doors and at a Single venue due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Both teams will be looking to grab the three points in this all important Kolkata derby. ATKMB have already played once this season winning against Kerela Blasters in Match 1 of the ISL while this is SC East Bengal’s first ever match of the top flight. For decades, fans have been an integral part of the Kolkata derby but due to the Covid-19 restrictions the match is being played in Goa that to behind closed doors. Both Robbie Fowler and Antonio Lopez Habas have emphasized on the importance of fans in the derby and both clubs will certainly miss them.
SC East Bengal:
Experienced defender Danny Fox has been named the only captain of SC East Bengal unlike ATK Mohun Bagan and other teams of the ISL where there are 4-5 captains in each team. They are a bit light on the attacking front with Balwant Singh expected to lead the line up front with former Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington behind him. Robbie Fowler’s team have had less time to prepare than the other clubs being the last team to enter the ISL this season. The club will be relying on the defensive duo of Danny Dox and Scott Neville for defending while midfielders Eugeneson Lyngdoh , Jacques Maghoma and Ville Matti Steinmann form a strong midield. Though they have a strong team it remains to be seen how they fare in their first ever top flight derby against the Mariners.
ATK Mohun Bagan FC:
ATK Mohun Bagan had a nice outing last time out with a 1-0 win over Kerela Blasters with Roy Krishna scoring the only goal of the match. Though they have little knowledge of what Robbie Fowler’s tactics them ATKMB are not scared as told to reporters by manager Antonio Habas. They will miss Michael Soosairaj for the rest of this season due to an ACL injury.
Subashish Bose will start at the LWB role. David Williams is expected to start the game with Roy Krishna at the front along with Edu Garcia. Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri will be in charge of the defence while Carl McHugh and Javi Hernandez are expected to start in midfield. ATK Mohun Bagan are stronger on paper but you never know what will happen in the Kolkata derby.
Head to Head — Match Prediction
Although this will be their first meeting in the ISL, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have previously faced each other a total of 369 times with the Red and Golds having a better Head to Head record with 129 wins to Bagan’s 119.
ATK Mohun Bagan are expected to take all three points against there arch-rivals as they have already played one match this season and are fitter than SC East Bengal who are looking a bit rusty as many of their players are low on match fitness
ATKMB 2-0 SCEB