I-League Champions Mohun Bagan get set to face their arch-rivals East Bengal in the first ever Kolkata derby of the 2015-16 season as both the heavyweights will be at loggerheads in the Calcutta Football League on Sunday, 6 September.
The mouth-watering clash is set to take place at Vivekanda Yuva Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata and this time the teams battle it out on the natural grass turf that has been laid out with an eye to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in India.
East Bengal are currently atop the standings in the league with 22 points following eight games, and a win against their rivals on Sunday will hand them the Calcutta Football League for a record 37th time.
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, have 14 points from seven games so far, and have three games remaining in the league. Although the league is all but confirmed for East Bengal, Sanjoy Sen's army still have a chance to clinch the league if they beat East Bengal tomorrow, and go on to win their remaining games.
East Bengal also have to lose their final game of the league against Southern Samity, to make the way for Mohun Bagan to win the title for the 30th time.
The I-League champions roped in attacking midfielder Kean Lewis last month on trials from Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Houston Dynamo, and the 22-year-old was on the scoresheet on two occasion for Bagan in their previous game against Police AC on Thursday. Mohun Bagan won that game 4-1.
Looking forward to his first derby game, Lewis says he is excited because he feels that the derby is a different ball game altogether. "There's a lot of excitement, and it's gonna be a big game. Lots of fans will be coming to watch the game. So I am looking forward to it," Kean told IBTimes India on phone.
Asked about East Bengal, who have remained undefeated in the CFL so far, Kean says: "East Bengal are having a good season, and their players are in form. However, we're going to give our best and try to win the game, irrespective of we win the league or not. The derby ofcourse is a different ball game altogether, and people put more importance in winning the derby than winning the league."
Biswajit Bhattacharya, East Bengal head coach said that a win is what they will be looking for in the derby and that a draw is equivalent to a loss.
"We will go for three points in the Derby clash. We do not play for a draw as the same is as good as a loss to us... We are not the favourites for today's match. Our journey is not yet over and we aim to achieve our mission of winning the League six years in a row," Bhattacharya said.
The game kicks off at 3:30 pm IST on Sunday, 6 Setember.
Where to Watch Live
Indian Football Fans can catch the East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan game on Star Jalsha Movies and stream the game Live on Hotstar.