East Bengal favourites against I-League debutants Gokulam 

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Kolkata: Formidable East Bengal will strive to continue their winning momentum and inch closer to leaders Minerva FC as they clash with debutants Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League game here on Wednesday.

All fired up after a hat-trick of back-to-back wins, the Kolkata football giants are now second in the table and three points behind Minerva.

And a victory at the Vivekananda Yuvabharati Krirangan on the morrow will bring them on par with the top placed side, albeit after playing a game more.

Starting the tournament with a far-from-positive note — only two points came to their kitty in the first two outings — the red and gold have vastly improved, gleaning full points from their previous matches opposite Shillong Lajong, Churchill Brothers and Chennai City.

Both on current form and on-field star value, East Bengal are miles ahead of their opponents.

East Bengal head coach Khalid Jamil would be banking on good shows by Laldanmawia Ralte and Katsumi Yusa, both having scored three goals each so far. However, the form of Willis Plaza remains a concern.

Gokulam FC stand four places lower in the ladder with four points from the same number of matches.

The visitors, however, will come into the game with their tails up, fresh from their maiden win in the league over the promising Indian Arrows. Earlier, they had drawn one and lost two of their first three fixtures.

With bulk of the players lacking in experience, coach Bino George would be depending a lot on Ghanian defender Daniel Ashley Addo and Syrian medio Khaled Al Saleh, the scorers in the contest against Indian Arrows.

IANS

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