|ISL 2020-21: First-ever Kolkata Derby Preview – SCEB vs ATKMB|
The Indian Super League (ISL) is all set to get a taste of its first-ever Kolkata Derby as SC East Bengal take on ATK Mohun Bagan (SCEB vs ATKMB) at Tilak Maidan, Goa. The ‘Boro Derby’ as it’s called in Bengali isn’t a mere football rivalry but it’s a part of the ethos of the Bengali culture.
Both these clubs have a rich history and legacy being more than 100 years old and this is the biggest match of Indian football as well as Asian football. The first-ever match between the two teams was played way back in 1921 and since then these two giants of Indian football have met nearly 367 times. However, this is the first time they’ll face each other in the Hero ISL and let’s analyse what to expect from the two teams.
SC EAST BENGAL
This will be a debut match for SC East Bengal in the ISL and they have assembled a squad that has a reasonable amount of experience playing in this competition. Their Indian contingent has played 611 ISL matches cumulatively. No other side’s Indian players have played more matches in the ISL. On the other hand, none of their foreign recruits has featured in the competition previously. The average age of the squad is the highest in the league and that could be a factor come the end of the season for them.
ATK MOHUN BAGAN
ATK Mohun Bagan had a debut to remember in the season opener of the ISL 2020-21. They lined up as 3-5-2, a typical Antonio Lopez Habas’ system, were compact defensively and lethal on the counter-attack. The team has probably the best defence in the league and a striker in Roy Krishna who should be in red hot form. They are definitely the contenders to challenge for the Hero ISL Shield this season and can also go all the way if they keep their key players fit and firing.
SC East Bengal (4-4-2): Mirshad Michu; Narayan Das, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Samad Mallick; Matti Steinmann, Sehnaj Singh, Anthony Pilkington, Surchanda Singh; Jeje Lalpekhlua, Aaron Amadi-Holloway
ATK Mohun Bagan (3-5-2): Arindam Bhattacharya; Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri; Prabir Das, Pronay Halder, Carl McHugh, Subhasish Bose; Javi Hernandez; Edu Garcia, Roy Krishna
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
A prospect that’ll excite all fans of Indian football, Jeje Lalpekhlua will be back on the pitch after missing out the entirety of last season due to an injury. His last goal in the ISL came in the 2018-19 season. He has only played for Chennaiyin in his ISL career and this season will see him play for another team for the first time. Jeje has played 69 matches in his ISL career and scored 23 goals. He is the highest goalscorer in Chennaiyin’s history and the second-highest Indian goalscorer in ISL history. Only Sunil Chhetri has scored more in the ISL with 39 goals. It’ll be interesting to see how fit he is at the start of the season.
Roy Krishna scored 15 goals in the previous season for ATK FC and assisted six times. He contributed to 54% of ATK FC’s goals last season and he is up and running this season as well for his new team, ATK Mohun Bagan. He scored the winner in the first match for the team in the ISL and looked hungry for more goals. He’s surely a contender for the Golden Boot award this season.
WHERE TO WATCH SCEB VS ATKMB
The Kolkata Derby will be broadcasted in India from 7:30 PM IST in Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, and their respective HD TV channels. You can also live stream the match on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.
Read: Top Five Players to Watch Out For in ISL 2020-21
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