I-League: Rejuvenated Churchill test for toppers East Bengal (Preview)

Kolkata, March 6 (IANS) On a high after their win against Shillong Lajong FC, East Bengal will look to consolidating their position at the top-of-the-table when they take on a rejuvenated Churchill Brothers in an I-League football tie at the Barasat Stadium here on Tuesday.

East Bengal brushed aside bogey team Lajong whom they have struggled to beat in recent years in Shillong, a difficult place to triumph.

The red and gold brigade are now atop the table with 27 points 12 matches and with Mohun Bagan losing to Churchill, Trevor Morgan’s wards have a chance to open up a nine-point lead.

Bagan, who have played two games less than East Bengal and second-placed Aizawl FC, take on wooden spooners Mumbai FC on Wednesday.

After Derrick Pereira took over as the coach of Churchill, brought back in the I-League after a two-year hiatus, the red machines have played well, specially their come-from-behind victory against Bagan being the high point.

That the Goan former league champions would not be an easy nut to crack is common knowledge for all East Bengal players.

History also keeps Churchill ahead with the head to head count showing 14 wins for the visitors to East Bengal’s 12.

“It won’t be easy against Churchill and we know that. They are playing well after Derrick took over as coach of the team,” Morgan told reporters after arriving here on Sunday.

The good news for the home side is Willis Plaza’s return from injury. The fact that Australian recruit Chris Payne also struck a brace should hold them in good stead.

For Churchill, Liberian attacking midfielder Ansumana Kromah has been in good touch and Anthony Wolfe is also coming back to shape. Chesterpaul Lyngdoh is a talent to reckon with and his runs should keep East Bengal busy.

Churchill are sixth in the table with 12 points from the same number of matches.

–IANS

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