Aiming to keep a theoretical chance alive, East Bengal will have no option but to win against Dempo SC in the 25th and penultimate round of the I-League, if they have to stay in contention for the title.
With four draws in a row, East Bengal have slipped to third place with 43 points from 23 matches, eight points behind leaders Churchill Brothers. They now need to win all their three remaining matches and also pray that Churchill Brothers lose all pending ties, if they are to aspire to lift the I-League title.
A draw on Saturday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here would mean the Bengal outfit is out of the title race.
East Bengal, who have come here without their foreign striker Andrew Barisic, have a tough job in hand. The four straight draws have put the team under tremendous pressure.
But East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan is confident his team can stand the challenge and win tomorrow.
Dempo, on the other hand, are lying at the fifth spot with 36 points from 24 matches, and they will be playing for pride. The Goan outfit will look to score victory in their last two matches and finish among the top five.
Dempo coach Armando Colaco, who missed the last match against Churchill Brothers, is back with the side and is confident of his boys putting up a spirited show.
Injuries have severely dented Dempo's chances of defending the title. Their key defenders Mahesh Gawli, Rowlison Rodrigues Pratesh are still nursing injuries, though Cresent Antao is back in the side after recovering from injury.