For the football-crazy fans of Calcutta, no joy can overwhelm the one witnessing their team obliterating their rivals in the Kolkata Derby. The East Bengal fans only satiate when they see Mohun Bagan fans put their hand above their head in despair. The Mariners’ thirst only quenches when they see the Red and Gold fans crying in agony.
However, for either of those to happen, the players of the respective clubs must step up. In the Kolkata Derby, these fans rest all their hopes in them. If they score a goal, produce a goal-line clearance, or orchestrate the midfield perfectly, they become their demi-god. But, if they miss a sitter, concede penalties unnecessarily, or throw away possessions, they become their villain.
Without any further ado, here are 5 players who will play a key role in the Kolkata Derby. Sony Norde of Mohun Bagan would have been the No 1 key player of the match but there are doubts over whether he will play this Sunday.
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#5 Yuta Kinowaki – Mohun Bagan
After a lot of trial and errors, East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez finally found the right midfield combination in the form of Kasim Aidara and Lalrindika Ralte. Mohun Bagan, too, has shuffled their midfield pairing with Sourav Das and Omar Elhusseiny swapping themselves continuously in the starting line-up.
However, one man has made all the appearances for Sankarlal Chakraborty’s side and, he is none other than Yuta Kinowaki. The Japanese reminds the Mariners of Katsumi Yusa who was pivotal in helping them win the 2014-15 season of I-League.
Mohun Bagan, usually, attack through the wings with the responsibility lying on Pintu Mahata, Sony Norde, Abhishek Ambekar, and Arijit Bagui to create scoring opportunities. East Bengal, on the other hand, will attack through the centre of the park with their fluid passing.
Yuta Kinowaki will shoulder the responsibility of stopping the attacks with either Sourav Das or Omar Elhusseiny. The former Shillong Lajong player will also ensure that the pace of the game slows down as East Bengal like to play it quick.