ATK Mohun Bagan take on SC East Bengal in the first Kolkata derby of the new ISL season. The Mariners are lining up their second win to go atop the table, while their rivals are looking for their first win in the season.
The derby is the most famous fixture in Indian football, with the two clubs having a rich history on their own, and between themselves as well.
East Bengal only joined the ISL last season, and we have seen two derbies in the Indian top flight so far. ATK Mohun Bagan won both those encounters by a two goal margin.
SC East Bengal vs ATK Mohun Bagan: 380th Kolkata derby preview
But, out of the 379 Kolkata derbies that have been played so far, SC East Bengal have the better record. They have won 132 derbies while ATK Mohun Bagan have won 122 times. The remaining 125 meetings have ended in a draw.
The key players to watch on the two teams are Roy Krishna and Antonio Perosevic. Both these attackers are capable enough to turn around games on their own, and they will be needee by their teams in the derby.
But beyond the pitch, the Kolkata derby has a rich cultural heritage as well. ATK Mohun Bagan represents the ‘Ghotis’, the people who originally resided in Bengal before the partition. Similarly, the Red and Gold club represents the ‘Bangals’ or the people that were driven out by the partition into West Bengal.
The fans are a huge part of the derby, with violent encounters between the two sets of supporters being very common. As a result, the eerie silence of the stadium in Goa will not do justice to the true atmosphere of a Kolkata derby. However, the fans will be passionately cheering on from in front of their TV screens without a doubt.