East Bengal

I-League 2017-18: Renedy Singh picks his favourites to win the title from here on

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Suman Chakravorty: Former India international and the President of Football Players Association of India (FPAI) Renedy Singh picks his favourites to win the I-League title from here on.

According to the former India captain, "Well, East Bengal is now the firm favourites. Not just because of the equation, but also because East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are the biggest teams in India. They know how to play these pressure games better than anybody else. They are favourites." He added, "But Minerva is still there and they too have an outside chance."

Renedy himself is from Imphal and Neroca FC too has a good chance to repeat what Bengaluru FC did a few years back - winning the league title on their very first appearance. But Renedy feels, "If East Bengal beats Lajong then in the last game it will be very difficult for Neroca to beat East Bengal at their home at Kolkata. Then it will be East Bengal who are the best horse to snatch the title."

Renedy gives the reasons why East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are favourites in situations like these, as he says, "For smaller teams like Minerva, Neroca and all a finish in the top five is believed to be a great performance. But in my 12 years' career I have always seen that the Kolkata Giants play only for the 1st position. Being second or being fifth is very much the same for them."

Being asked about the turning point for East Bengal this season, Renedy said, "Yes, it is true that East Bengal didn't play like champions this season and was very much inconsistent. But they started playing well in the last few games and the other teams too helped them to get the momentum with some poor performances. But this is not the first time it has happened. I have seen these things to happen in the past as well."

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