| Manoranjan |
Calcutta: East Bengals fight to save relegation seems to be getting tougher ahead of their Round XV ONGC I-League match against Mahindra United on Sunday with five of their key players forced to sit out owing to injuries.
Along with three defenders — Nigerian Majekodumni Bolaji (groin), Saumik Dey (ankle) and M. Suresh — the red and golds will also miss the services of medio Dipankar Roy and forward Asim Biswas in the tie against the Mumbai outfit.
Coach Manoranjan Bhattacharjee is banking on an alternative strategy.
We will miss some players on Sunday. I have to adopt an alternative strategy, Bhattacharjee said after Saturdays practice session. Our aim is to grab full points. We have shown some improvement in the last two matches. We are playing more passes and I see a positive intent among the players, Bhattacharjee said.
The coach indicated that the 4-4-2 formation will be followed. With Edmilson out owing to double yellow, Bhattacharjee may field Syed Rahim Nabi and Vimal Pariyar upfront against Mahindra.
Mahindra United, who are in fifth spot with 21 points from 14 matches, will also miss three players — Yusif Yakubu, K.N. Ajayan and Tarif Ahmed, making it a bit difficult for coach Derek Periera.