Coimbatore, Jan 13: In a game between two of the best attacking sides of the ongoing I-League, table toppers Chennai City FC will take on East Bengal in a return leg fixture on Monday here.
Mexican Enrique Esqueda, who scored in their last clash has gone back home and East Bengal has bolstered their attack with the signing of young Spaniard Jamie Santos Colado, who has scored one of the goals of the league, as well as Toni Dovale, another Spanish player who plays down the left wing.
Spanish coach Alejandro Garcia also seems to have settled in on his defensive formation fitting in Costa Rican World Cupper Johny Acosta yet again after having second thoughts in between.
But what can really get the Kolkata side back in the reckoning is a win on Monday, which will place them just two points behind Chennai with a game in hand.
Garcia said in the pre-game presser: “Tomorrow will be a crucial game. But the world won’t end if we lose. We are taking one match a time. There are new players who have come in. We are confident to stop Chennai City FC.”
Chennai, on the other hand, after remaining unbeaten in their first eight games, suffered their first defeat at the hands of Real Kashmir, but have since then returned to winning ways after two emphatic victories against Shillong and Gokulam Kerala to maintain their top position on the standings.
Pedro Manzi, their Spanish striker has scored three hattricks in the league so far for his 10 goals, and his midfield compatriots Nestor Jesus and Sandro also have 10 goals between them. The trio, on their day, looks an unstoppable force.
Chennai’s Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas, on the eve of the game, said, “Playing on home ground is not a big advantage or disadvantage. The playing style is different for every coach and team and it varies with every match. But we keep on uplifting our game with every match.”
“We have good players and it’s who we choose depending on the match. We don’t have anything to lose. We have to give our best and enjoy the game,” he added.
Given the context of the game and the position the two teams find themselves in, expect nothing less than a blockbuster clash.