Asia's oldest derby is all set to take centre-stage once again as SC East Bengal and ATK-Mohun Bagan lock horns at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Friday. This will be the second match of the season for ATK-Mohun Bagan whereas SC East Bengal will be playing their first. This will also be the first time the two teams will be taking each other on in the Indian Super League. Without further adieu, let's take a look at five players who have the ability to light up this Kolkata Derby.
The Fijian striker has already made a place for himself in the heart of the Mohun Bagan fans. He scored in their opening fixture of this ISL season against Kerala Blasters to lead his team to victory. Krishna played a pivotal role to help ATK to the title last season as well. He was the joint top-scorer in the 2019-20 season with a total of 15 goals to his name. The 33-year-old has pace and skills up his sleeves, which makes him a menace to handle for the defenders in the final third.
The Spanish midfielder is easily ATK-Mohun Bagan's second-best player. Garcia is one of the major creative forces in their midfield and doesn't miss out on scoring whenever there is a chance on offer. He netted six goals along with providing three assists in the 16 games he played for ATK in the last ISL season and these numbers tell all about his ability as a player. East Bengal defenders are going to have a real tough time in handling him.
He is one of the best Indian fullbacks and ATK-Mohun Bagan are lucky to have him playing for them even in this season. Das was instrumental in ATK's success last season as he wasn't only a solid defender but helped his team with five assists as well. He has a high work rate and thus he keeps going up and down the flanks continuously. His presence gives the side immense balance in both defence and attack.
This is going to be Pilkington's first season in the ISL but let's not forget that he is an experienced player who has played in the high-quality English Premier League. The Irish forward is a set-piece specialist and has scored many amazing goals from dead-ball situations in his career. Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who is the head coach of East Bengal, will have the same kind of expectations from Pilkington in this all-important derby against ATK-Mohun Bagan.
The 34-year-old Indian midfielder might not be at the peak of his abilities but his mere presence on the field is going to be a great boost for East Bengal. Lyngdoh will mainly play in the Central midfield as a chance creator and his job will be to set up opportunities for the other players. He won't shy away if he gets an opportunity to score though. In a total of 161 club appearances in his career, Lyngdoh has scored a total of 26 goals and nothing can be better than adding one more to his tally in this all-important derby.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / @Pilkington_11