The Indian Super League (ISL) has begun its new season in great style. With 17 goals already scored in the first four games, similar scorelines can be expected in the days ahead. The forthcoming Kolkata Derby between giants ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal will be the centre of attention. The match is perhaps the most important in Indian football, and the players are from all around the country.
While Antonio Habas’ ATKMB started the season with a spectacular victory over Kerala Blasters, Manolo Diaz’s Red and Gold Brigade drew with Jamshedpur FC. With the help of their players and methods, both Spaniards will try to outsmart one other. On that point, here are a few highlights from the forthcoming ‘Kolkata Derby.’
Diaz makes his Derby debut
Manolo Diaz, a Spaniard with over 20 years of coaching expertise, has recently found himself in the Indian footballing scene. The team’s first match against Owen Coyle’s side was his first in India’s top flight, but he would have preferred a stronger start. Despite this, he faces a significant hurdle in the form of the derby in only his second game in command.
He’ll have to do his homework before fielding his team against ATK Mohun Bagan since he’ll be up against a lot more experienced coach in Habas. Despite the lack of spectators, Diaz will undoubtedly feel the weight of history and expectation when he makes his derby debut.
Players from India take center stage
With the new ISL restrictions allowing only four foreign players on the field, a plethora of talented Indians will be able to flourish. Both clubs have a decent mix of experienced and inexperienced players that can make a difference for their teams. Habas has the opportunity to choose from experienced players like Prabir Das, Subhasish Bose, and Manvir Singh. Liston Colaco is a well-known figure in the Green and Maroon camp. In their 4-2 triumph over Kerala Blasters, the 23-year-old teenager scored his team’s fourth goal.
East Bengal, on the other hand, added several Indian players to their roster during the transfer season. Arindam Bhattacharya, their captain, and previous season’s Golden Glove winner are one of them. W. Angousana and Sourav Das, both midfielders, did well against Jamshedpur, but it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to hold their own against players like Hugo Boumous. Amarjit Singh and Jackichand Singh, for example, could make their season debuts in the Kolkata Derby.
East Bengal is searching for their first ISL victory over their arch-rivals
East Bengal’s nascent team would benefit much from clinching all three points for the first time this season, especially against their arch-rivals. Still reeling from the restructure, the club is attempting to put the past behind them and make a fresh start.
Manolo Diaz, their new coach, was brought in to accomplish just that. If they win the derby, that would be the ideal way to reward the supporters.
Will Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco remain as wing-backs for the Habas?
Antonio Habas is well-known for his defensive techniques, which have earned him some criticism. Even though his team is primarily defensive, the coach can secure the victory at the end of 90 minutes. His use of wing-backs is a key component of his style of play. When he is not in possession, he insists on being tracked back.
Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco played these wing-back roles while supporting Roy Krishna, the single striker upfront. Pritam Kotal and Subasish Bose, for example, may also play as wing-backs. During the Kolkata Derby, we’ll have to wait and see which tried-and-true formation he chooses.
Resolving East Bengal’s midfield’s lack of inventiveness
We observed how Amir Dervisevic enhanced the midfield levels after coming on in the second half of the previous game. Unfortunately for Daniel Chima and Antonio Perosevic, the Slovenian is the only player capable of creating chances for them. The majority of the midfielders in the team, including new signing Darren Sidoel, are excellent defenders. If Diaz decides to play Dervisevic right away, he’ll have to drop one of Franjo Price or Tomislav Mrcela from the center-back pairing if Chima and Perosevic are to keep their roles upfront.
In the center of the park, someone like Amarjit Singh can make a difference. He can be the link between the midfield and the forwards with his abilities and composure on the ball.
SC EB goal by Arindam Bhattacharya
Last season, Arindam Bhattacharya was part of the ATK Mohun Bagan team that defeated SC East Bengal in both of their matches. This time, however, he’ll be seen as an SC East Bengal plater, guarding the Red and Gold Brigade’s goal. In the transfer window, he switched teams and put in a great performance in his side’s 1-1 draw against Jamshedpur FC in their opening match of the season. Last season’s Golden Glove winner hopes to make a statement from the opposite end this time.
Roy Krishna is on a roll right now
Roy Krishna has been one of the top attackers in the Indian Super League, and ATK Mohun Bagan would agree that they are fortunate to have such a stalwart on their team. The Fijian striker is a consistent goal scorer, with 14 goals last season. Last season, he scored in both matches against SC East Bengal. Can he make it three games in a row with a goal against the Red and Gold Brigade?
There are only five days till this historic rivalry resurfaces in the Indian Super League. Will ATK Mohun Bagan reign supreme once more, or will SC East Bengal have the final laugh and win their first match against their city rivals? Keep an eye on the news to find out!
Read: ISL 2021-22 Here’s the official schedule of the first 11 rounds of the Indian Super League