The new sensation of East Bengal from South Korea, Do Dong-Hyun seems excited to be stepping onto the newly constructed grassy turf at the Salt lake Stadium in the first derby match of this season between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan on Sunday. Dong Hyun, speaking on the occasion on Saturday, informed he has not ever participated in any derby match during his tenure in either Australia or in Japan. He said excitedly, “Sunday will be the first derby match where I am going to participate. And I am truly thrilled to play in front of nearly one lakh spectators.” Although, Salt Lake Stadium which created history in 1997 with more than one lakh spectators watching East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match in the Federation Cup, has reduced the seating capacity from one lakh to 90 thousands after the fracas between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan fans at the gallery, forced the referee to stop the I-League match in December 2012.
Still, before the first derby of this season, almost 50 thousand people are expected to view the match. Specially, it can be assumed that number of East Bengal fans will be more than their arch rivals as Mohun Bagan has been almost out of the contention for the league title while East Bengal, winning this derby will ensure the sixth consecutive Kolkata Premier League title.
East Bengal Predicted XI:
Mohun Bagan Predicted XI:
Dong when asked about his chances of maintaining the performance on Sunday despite the fact that he would be heavily marked by the opposition defenders, commented, “I know I will be strongly marked by Mohun Bagan defenders. But I also have plans to get them out on the field. So far I have not failed in showing my competency in the league. I hope I will not fail even on Sunday.”
The South Korean midfielder, however, feels Dudu Omagbemi is the main threat for them on Sunday. Dong said, “Dudu has experience of playing in big matches. At the same time, as a player he is technically skilled. Naturally, he can make the difference.” The midfielder added, “Had I been the coach of East Bengal, I would have tried to cut the supply line between Dudu and his mates as the Nigerian midfielder often falls back to play as withdrawn centre forward and from that position he can send defense-splitting passes. That has been the key factor in his game style.”