ISL 2020-21 preview: SC East Bengal faces the Goa challenge on road to recovery

ISL 2020-21: The two sides are meeting for the first time but their situation at different ends of the current league table says a lot about their respective form and strength.

SC East Bengal, managed by Robbie Fowler (left) is currently 10th in the points table with six points, while FC Goa, managed by Juan Ferrando (right), occupies the third spot with 14 points.   -  SPORTZPICS/ISL

SC East Bengal will be counting on the confidence gained from its first win of the tournament in its previous outing when it takes on FC Goa at home in Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco on Wednesday.

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The two sides are meeting for the first time but their situation at different ends of the current league table says a lot about their respective form and strength. Goa has risen to the third spot with 14 points after wins against Jamshedpur and Hyderabad, while East Bengal continues in the tenth position with just six points in its kitty.

The Gaurs definitely have the form and will start as the favourite but the red-and-gold brigade are no pushovers bettering their performance in the last three rounds, where it has remained unbeaten.  The East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler admitted of getting the proverbial monkey off the back after beating Odisha FC and securing the team’s first win at the same venue. This is crucial for his team now.

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“We know FC Goa and the players they have got. It's going to be an incredibly tough game, but we will go into it with more confidence because of our last result. We have played good football, but we could have done better at times in terms of possession. It's up to the players to execute the plans,” Fowler said before the Goa match.

“The lads are in a better space now than what we were a few weeks ago. But like I said to them, we got to go out and play the way we can. If you can play the way you can, you will win games. We are not a million miles away. We've won a game but we won't get carried away,” he added.

Defence has not been a strong area for both the opponents which is evident from the fact that East Bengal is yet to register a clean sheet in eight outings while Goa has just managed to keep one in the nine it has played so far.

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FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando felt the pressure will be more on his side as it has to defend its position in the table. “East Bengal is more compact now and has displayed its quality in the last few games," Ferrando said.

“Two weeks ago, there was more pressure as they were in the last position. (But) when you have three points, the emotions in the dressing room are different. Against SCEB, we have a problem because they come into the game without any pressure or stress. It is a new opportunity (for them)," he added.

SQUADS

SC EAST BENGAL: Debjit Majumder, Rafique Ali, Mirshad Michu, Sankar Roy, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Gurtej Singh, Narayan Das, Abhishek Ambekar, Rana Gharami, Samad Mallick, Ningthoukhongjam Rohen Singh, Anil Chawan, Aaron Hammadi-Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Matti Steinman, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Bikash Jairu, Sehnaj Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Metei, Haobam Singh, Milan Singh, Wahengbam Luwang, Mohamed Irshad, Mohamed Rafique, Yumnam Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh

FC GOA: Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Dylan D'Silva, Shubham Dhas, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Seriton Fernandes, Aibanbha Dohling, Leander D'Cunha, Mohamed Ali, Sanson Pereira, Sarineo Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Edu Bedia, Flan Gomes, Jorge Ortiz, Brandon Fernandes, Alberto Noguera, Lenny Rodrigues, Redeem Tlang, Seiminlen Doungel, Nestor Dias, Phrangki Buam, Princeton Rebello, Alexander Jesuraj, Makan Chothe, Igor Angulo, Ishan Pandita, Aaren D'Silva, Devendra Murgaonkar 

 

MATCH FACTS:

Date: January 6, 2021

Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco

Time: 7:30pm IST

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