EB has task cut out against Mohun Bagan tomorrow

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Kolkata, February 5 (PTI) East Bengal have already beatentheir bitter rivals Mohun Bagan thrice this season but theI-League leaders, who are unbeaten so far, will have theirtask cut out when the two teams clash in an I-League round 13match at Yuba Bharati Krirangan here tomorrow.

Mohun Bagan''s defence, which has been their weak linkthis season, is bolstered by the return of their India playersDeepak Mondal, Anwar Ali, Surkumar Singh and N Mohan Raj,while another national recruit Rakesh Masih will be in actionin the mid-field.

East Bengal, on the other hand, will miss the services ofRobin Singh up front because of a double booking and coachTrevor James Morgan is expected to bring in Sushil Singh topartner their star Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey.

All eyes would be on the Australian stalwart who is yetto score against their traditional rivals.

East Bengal might have completed a hat-trick of winningthree titles this season -- Federation Cup, MohammedanSporting Platinum Jubilee Cup and the Calcutta PremierDivision -- outplaying their traditional rivals in all threefinals but much has changed in Mohun Bagan camp since then.

Under Subhas Bhowmick, who took charge in place ofStanley Rozario, Mohun Bagan have begun to show signs ofrecovery as they have improved their position to sixth in thetable with 18 points.

East Bengal lacked their usual swagger in their lastouting, when they drew 2-2 against Churchill Brothers.

Choosing to play down the hype, Morgan said, "Foreverybody here, it''s a massive game, but at the end of the dayit''s three points after all. We are confident of a win thatwill help us widen the gap at the top."

East Bengal (30 points) have a slender two-point leadover Salgaocar in the standings.

Mohun Bagan''s technical director Bhowmick said, "They(East Bengal) are playing very good football at the moment andthey are playing to a plan. They have an intelligent coach inMorgan a decent human being." PTI TAP KK SSC

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