AS THE LEAGUE EDGES TO THE FINAL ROUNDS, every round now becomes crucial for every club. Dropping points at this stage may be beyond repair. Cautious approach, careful thought-of strategies means more time spent on analysing the form, strengths and weaknesses of opposition.
Churchill Brothers were struggling at the bottom of the table a few weeks back and with the introduction of coach Derrick Pereira, they have had a spring in their step. They have gathered 7 points from 4 games that Derrick was in charge. From a point where Churchill were barely scoring, from the last four games, the Goan team have scored 10 goals and conceded 7 goals. Notably among those four games, they have beaten the giants Mohun Bagan and kept a clean sheet, the first of their season. Positive signs, late in the season but it is never too late to mend, as it is said.
East Bengal, under Trevor Morgan, have kept their heads above all teams with their consistent results. Recently, being hit with injuries, Morgan played it smart by not going all out attacking in yesterday's game and played the waiting game and got the reward from Shillong's mistakes. East Bengal were walking a tight rope towards the end of the game as Shillong threatened to score at any moment, only for Shillong to be less perfect in front of goal. Bukenya put up a stand out show by his rock solid defending. Churchill, are slowly getting to be known as giant killers, already beating Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan FC this season. The confidence is high after the great results coming their way and jumping four places in the points table.
East Bengal, will be under pressure once again, sweating over the fitness of their start striking pair of Wedson and Plaza, Morgan knows any slip will mean surrendering the lead or possibly the title. It will be interesting how Morgan plays this game considering both Plaza and Wedson may still not be available. Certainly, they is no dearth of talented picks in the squad to replace the two but how this game is tactically approached is to be seen. Churchill, with their recent thrust of attacking play, will not be taken as a side to be toyed with. East Bengal will need play holders and disrupters in the midfield to not allow the trio of Brandon, Wolfe and Kromah to play freely. Mehtab paired with another midfielder can be assigned to this task. East Bengal sure do not want to give away free kicks in dangerous areas as Brandon has shown what his is capable of given those opportunities.
East Bengal host Churchill Brothers tomorrow at 4:35 pm being telecast on Ten 2.
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