East Bengal will be without their star players, defender Ivan Bukenya and forward Willis Plaza when they kick-off their I-League campaign against Aizawl FC at Barasat on Saturday.
Because of less training time, both Plaza and Bukenya are likely to be cooling their heels for the first game.
According to the sources, Coach Trevor James Morgan stated at the pre-match press conference at the club ground. “They have has long flights with layovers at different countries. It’s not easy to judge on them just yet. Let’s see how they are next week and then take a call.”
East Bengal is still to sign their fourth player in the Asian quota. Under Morgan, East Bengal ruined runners-up in both years 2011 and 2012. The British coach promised to win the elusive top this time.
The 60-years-old coach said that “We were unfortunate in one of those seasons that we could not win the I-League. There were things that happened to us that we could do nothing about. I know this could be the last I-League season. I know the expectations of the fans are immense here as it always is.”
“I would do everything in my power to win the I-League this time, and it’s not the I-League it’s every game that we play. It’s going to be a great achievement for the team and me personally. It’s not something I lose sleep over. I do wake up and think about it,”
First defender Arnab Mondal is treatment an injury whereas Bukenya requires time to take the field. However, Narayan Das and Rahul Bheke are usual to man full-back positions.
Captain Mehtab Hossain and Rowlin Borges are a possibility to be the two holding midfielders. Mehtab stated concern over playing on the artificial turf; he said “It can be a problem. It’s not easy for the knee, ankle and groin. You need a lot of stamina. It’s not an artificial turf of such high standards, so the leg gets stuck at times. You will see players injuring himself after two-three games,” said experts midfielder.
Wedson is probably to outlined in the hole beside Mohammed Rafique, who is going to play as a striker with Jackichand Singh and Abhinash Ruidas probable to be playing wide in the formation of 4-2-3-1.