Rejuvenated by a big win in the previous outing, East Bengal will aim to preserve the momentum when it meets debutante Punjab FC in an ISL-10 fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday.
East Bengal, which beat NorthEast United FC 5-0 in its last match at the same venue, needs the full quota of points from its second successive home assignment to keep its aspiration of reaching the knock-out stage alive.
Having lost thrice and drawn twice in its seven appearances in the League so far, East Bengal will be looking to add another win to its previous two and bring some consistency in its performance.
It will be an interesting duel as the opponent, Punjab FC, looks for its first win of the tournament after having managed four draws in its eight appearances so far. The defending I-League champion has impressed with its performance after being promoted but had failed to find the right combination to snap up its first win of the debut season.
“We understand that it was just a victory at home (the previous one against NEUFC). When you come from four winless games, one game is not going to put you in the sky. We are conscious that we have to keep doing our work,” East Bengal coach Carles Cuadrat said.
East Bengal is currently placed eighth with eight points from seven matches.
Punjab FC coach Staikos Vergetis felt that his team is gaining experience and maturity and soon will deliver the intended result. “My team did a lot of better things in the last game as compared to the previous games and I was very happy with that. But, some of our mistakes caused us to lose the two points. But these mistakes make us more mature and better for the upcoming games,” Vergetis said before the match. Punjab is currently placed 11th with four points.
East Bengal: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (GK), Harmanjot Khabra, Lalchungnunga, Hijazi Maher, Mandar Rao Dessai, Souvik Chakrabarti, Saul Crespo, Borja Herrera, Nandhakumar Sekar, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Cleiton Silva
Punjab FC: Ravi Kumar, Khaimin Lhungdim, Dimitrios Chatziisaias, Nitesh Darjee, Nikhil Prabhu, Ashis Pradhan, Mahedi Talal, Juan Mera, Prasanth K, Luka Majcen
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