Title aspirants East Bengal will look to continue their winning run when they face minnows Pailan Arrows in a Round 19 I-League fixture at Kalyani on Saturday.
For East Bengal, it will be build up match to their return-leg derby against Mohun Bagan on February 9 and coach Trevor Morgan will hope that all their top players remain in shape ahead of the big clash.
All eyes would be on their ace forward Edeh Chidi, who is the leading goal scorer (13) as they would look do an encore of the first leg which they had won 3-0 at the same venue on December 30 last year.
This will also be a big test for struggling midfielder Penn Orji as Morgan would be keen that the Nigerian rediscovers his silken touch ahead of the big match.
East Bengal are currently second in the table and a win would put them in the right course for the title bid while it would be a learning curve for the AIFF developmental outfit who are currently placed eighth in the 14-team standings.
"We are still in the championship race and the match against Arrows will be an important one for us. We will definitely go for full point and get ourselves mentally ready before the derby match (against Mohun Bagan) in next round," Morgan said today.
"Arrows are a good side with young player who are both hardworking and very fit. We will have to do really well to get a favourable against them," Morgan added.
East Bengal have an unbeaten record against the Arrows as the former have three wins and two draws from five outings.