I-League: East Bengal looks to return to winning ways against Gokulam Kerala

Quess East Bengal returns home after a long away spell as it gears up host Gokulam Kerala in a must-win match for both the teams to stay alive in the title race.

East Bengal is fifth on the points table.   -  Twitter (@ILeague)

Quess East Bengal returns home after a long away spell as it gears up host Gokulam Kerala at the Kalyani Stadium in a must-win match for both the teams to stay alive in the title race.

East Bengal, which suffered its first loss of the season against Churchill Brothers in the last fixture, will be looking to get back to winning ways. The Red and Golds are placed fifth in the points table with eight points from five games and a win against Gokulam Kerala can assure them of a top-three spot.

Speaking before the match, East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez said: “We need to be very strong in defence and be much focused. In attack, we will try to be combinative to create as many chances and hopefully convert them. We need to perform in a good way to play this game that is surely going to be tough considering Gokulam will have a similar outlook.”

Gokulam Kerala FC has had a rough patch in the last few matches and the results haven’t favoured the Kerala Outfit. In spite of Marcus Joseph being in prime form, the team has failed to put together a string of good results.

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Gokulam will be at a disadvantage against East Bengal due to the suspension of defenders Haroon Amiri and Mohamed Irshad. The team will also be concerned over a recovering goalkeeper Baskaran, who had to be taken off due to a head-on collision during the match against Chennai City.

Coach Fernando Andres Santiago Varela said, “Quess East Bengal are always a strong opponent, with very good foreign and Indian players. We will do our best to win away from home.” He added, “Irshad and Amiri are experienced players but we will replace them with two players who are our assets for the future and they will do a good job.”

“With regard to the ‘bad’ luck, I think we are the team that most create scoring chances in the championship and we are not being effective enough. We must improve in this aspect and hopefully be as fast as possible.”

The match will be broadcast live on DSport and can be streamed on FanCode app from 5:00 PM IST.

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