Calcutta: United SC coach Eelco Schattorie feels East Bengal will be the favourites when the two teams meet in an I-League match, on Thursday.
“Obviously they are the favourites… They have a strong side and I will be surprised if they do not win the I-League this time. In fact, last year they should have won the title,” Eelco said at a joint media conference hosted by East Bengal.
“But I will not adapt to their style of play and will focus on our strengths. We have injury and card problems, but still we will try to put up a fight.”
United recorded a vital away win over Dempo the other day, but that came at a price. Eric Brown has been ruled out of Thursday’s clash due to suspension. “It’s a big blow to us... He is in great form… Now the pressure will be on Ranty Martins. I have a tough task on hand,” he said.
East Bengal coach Armando Colaco admits that Eric’s absence is a blessing for them. “He is a great player... Very good in set-pieces and strong in the air. I am happy he won’t be there to torment us,” he said.
Armando will be missing Mehtab Hussain who is nursing a knee injury. “Maybe Subodh Kumar will get a start,” he revealed.
Armando, however, did not forget to take a dig at his predecessor Marcos Falopa. “The players’ fitness level is poor… In the last four months, hardly anything has been done on that aspect. Their morale also was down. Now you all can see there is lot of enthusiasm amongst the players,” he said.
- In Calcutta: Mohun Bagan vs Md. Sp.
- In Margao: Dempo SC vs Pune FC
- In Pune: Mumbai FC vs RUFC