2016-2017 I-league- Round-13 Penultimate round before the break

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The return of Wills Plaza would be a big boost for East Bengal.

Tomorrow sees a chance for East Bengal to firmly put ” scoreboard pressure” on title rivals Mohun Bagan and Aizawl. They were unimpressive in their win against Lajong , but with the likely return of Plaza & Ansleme , the Red & Gold should be back to their best.

Derrick Pereira has performed wonders to not only pick up 6 points in his first 3 games, more impressive is the stability and composure that he has brought.
Despite Churchills upsurge, East Bengal in front of a home ground in a 4:30pm game…might have too much heat for the Goans.

Surinder Singh and Thangboi Singto during the pree match press conference

Minerva vs Lajong would be an interesting game. The odds favour the home team .especially after Lajong opted to take a 6 hr bus journey from Delhi to Ludhiana. That said Lajong put in a spirited 2nd half performance and if it wasn’t for their profligacy they should’ve taken 3 points of the Champions elect.
Minerva too might count themselves unlucky not to have picked up a point against the stuttering Champions. The problem with Minerva is scoring goals 0.75 per game is less than Lajong and league top scorer DIPANDA has managed !
Expect this to either be a snore-draw or a kamikaze goal fest.

Aizawl practising in Balewadi ahead of their clash against DSK

DSK Shivajians have started their shift towards their future vision. They want to rely less and less on foreign and ISL players and focus on their youth products. They have successfully created a small bridge between Mizoram talent hub and their Loni base. Given this sub plot , the game against an almost all Mizo sqaud expext some fireworks in this game.
If Khalid can produce similar results away from home as he has at his fortress in the hills…then the warning sign for Rodgers will grow.

Wednesday matches

Sony Norde and Katsumi Yusa will be expecting to get Bagan back on track

Bagan have to bounce back against Mumbai at home or they can kiss goodbye to the title race. Santosh Kashyap team were awful up in Aizawl,  he seems to have lost his dressing room and the players aren’t playing for him. Given all the pressures , I’d expect a few cards to fly , but Sony Norde might just capitalise and get himself another contract.

Sunil Chhetri would love to be back on the score sheet for Bengaluru FC against Chennai

The Southern derby rounds up the rounds fixtures. BFC should continue their recovery against Chennai , both teams have trouble scoeing , but the disorganised CCFC will gift enough chances for Sunil or Vineeth to boost their stats.

Matches

Tuesday 7th March

East Bengal vs. Churchill Brothers
Minerva vs. Shilllong Lajong FC
DSK Shivajians vs. Aizawl FC

Wednesday 8th March

Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai FC
Chennai City FC vs. BENGALURU FC