Edeh Chidi seeks providential support in high voltage derby
Kolkata, Feb 8 : Mercurial Edeh Chidi is seeking providential blessing to score as his Kingfisher East Bengal tomorrow lock horns against bitterest rivals McDowell Mohun Bagan in I-League's return leg derby, billed as a crucial round for the Federation Cup winners bid to win the double.
Trevor James Morgan, who is the most successful foreign coach engaged in India, is banking mainly on the Nigerian goal scoring ability to win the I-League for the first time after pocketing the Federation Cup in the season campaigner.
The 1.8 mt tall African has been phenomenon in his twelve years career in India playing in at least ten clubs and has the distinction in Kolkata Derby to score 4 goals for the mariners in 5-1 win versus East Bengal in 2009.
'I go to prayer seeking His (Lord) blessing for extra strength so that I can cope with the extra pressure,' Chidi said ahead of Satruday's derby at Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
Morgan is also keeping a high esteem on capability of central defender Uga Okpara, and side back Arnab Mondal to keep the citadel tight against rival's two foreign opponents Odafa Okolie and Togay Ozbay.
Captain Okolie has special interest on the match this time as he was partly responsible for violence in abandoned derby on December 9, which saw Bagan fined for Rs 2 crore and three-match suspension for him by the AIFF.
Chidi said he is expecting a nerve-wreaking return derby as most of the players on either side fit to give their best.
The 20th round play for East Bengal has huge meaning as they are now on 39 points from 19 games, one point ahead of Churchill Brothers, who have two games in hand to make 19th round, and holders Dempo on 35 points from 18 games.
Post punishment, Mohun Bagan, were asked to complete the I-league fixture with sixteen plays where they grabbed only five points from four games.
However, despite facing relegation, the 124-year-old club kept one agenda alive ' to beat East Bengal,'in any sport or game in the country.
Despite debacles for past three years to win a national silverware, thousands and thousands of club fans are expected to fill the 100,000 capacity stadium at the week-end derby.
Coach Karim Bencherifa keeping fifth in the combination of Odafa Okolie and Tolgay Ozbay is confident of over coming the presnet crisis.
Tolgay, after switching from East Bengal has not make any mark with his new side owing to nagging knee injury, is expected to make his mark against his former club, which made him pay fine for violating transfer norm.
To ensure, December 9 violence does not recur, I-League security adviser B K Roka inspected the stadium yesterday and today ensuring proper security arrangement.
He also had discussions with the representatives of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal with advise to keep their fans in order during the match at the stadium. Police also identified a potential trouble maker using facebook regarding derby at the stadium.
A win can take East Bengal near to the goal of trophy as they, after six weeks break, start playing I-League mostly at home starting against Air India on March 24.
Barring one against Dempo on April 20, East Bengal will host all the five matches to finish the season.
During break East Bengal play AFC Cup in home and away.