The Red & Golds will aim to repeat their first-leg performance while the Men of Steel will seek revenge.
In a clash between two teams that are languishing at the bottom half of the ISL table, East Bengal will take on Jamshedpur FC in Kolkata on Friday. After getting a win against Bengaluru two weeks back, East Bengal lost the following game against Odisha FC by a margin of 3-1. Despite taking an early lead in the game with a masterclass from Cleiton Silva, the side lost its plot and conceded thrice to taste yet another defeat at the hands of the Juggernauts. Thus, on Friday, taking advantage of home support, the club will like to get three points against a struggling Jamshedpur FC.
The story of Jamshedpur FC has been worse than that of the Red & Gold Brigade. The current League Shield Winners are having a nightmare of a season in which they have won only one out of the 13 games that they have played so far. They are on a 10-game winless streak. Their last and only win came against NorthEast United on 30th October 2022. The side drew their last game against Chennaiyin FC despite registering a healthy 2-0 lead in the game. Jamshedpur’s lack of composure came to the forefront in the match as they conceded twice to give away their lead and settled for a solitary point.
Against such a backdrop, let us take a look at what the encounter has to offer.
East Bengal will like to get back to winning ways at home if they want to keep their hope for a top-six finish alive. Even though it looks like a daunting task, it is still possible on pen and paper. Stephen Constantine will be aware of this fact and would like to marshal his troops accordingly. Given the poor run of form of Friday’s opponents and their first-leg comprehensive victory over the Men of Steel, East Bengal will be hopeful of securing a positive result against Jamshedpur FC to keep their season alive.
The Kolkata giants are currently placed ninth on the points table with 12 points from 12 games. The side has won only four matches and lost all the remaining eight. A win will take them to 15 points and push them above Bengaluru to the eighth spot. It will level their points tally with Chennaiyin FC who are sitting in seventh place.
It was a shocking season for Jamshedpur FC after winning the Shield last season. The team has won only one game so far. Any possibility of a top-six finish is perhaps impossible for the Men of Steel. But still, they would love to win for pride. Any win at this moment comes as a great relief for Aidy Boothroyd and his men. Their passionate supporters would also want the club to win as many games as possible before the end of the season.
Jamshedpur FC are in the tenth place with six points from 13 games. A win will take them to nine points, and cause no change in their position.
Injury & Team News
East Bengal have a few niggles in the side meanwhile Jamshedpur FC will have a full roster to choose from.
To date, East Bengal and Jamshedpur FC have met five times in the ISL.
East Bengal – 2
Jamshedpur FC – 1
Drawn – 2
East Bengal (4-4-2)
Suvam Sen (GK); Ankit Mukherjee, Lalchungnunga, Ivan Gonzalez, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Aniket Jadhav, Charalambos Kyriakou, Jordan O’Doherty, Naorem Mahesh Singh; Semboi Haokip, Cleiton Silva
Jamshedpur FC (4-4-2)
Vishal Yadav (GK); Laldinliana Renthlei, PC Laldinpuia, Eli Sabiá, Ricky Lallawmawma; Rafael Crivellaro, Pronay Halder, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Ritwik Das; Daniel Chima Chukwu, Ishan Pandita
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Player to Watch
Cleiton Silva (East Bengal)
Cleiton scored a wonderful goal against Odisha FC in an otherwise heart-breaking game for East Bengal. He got a sole chance throughout the game and scored from it with a brilliant strike. He is currently one of the joint top-scorers in the league with eight goals. This is a big feat since East Bengal do not create numerous chances in a game. It is always interesting to see what Cleiton has on offer in a day, and Friday shall be no different.
Ritwik Das (Jamshedpur FC)
Ritwik Das was the standout player in their last outing against Chennaiyin FC. He scored a brace to give his team a healthy 2-0 lead, which the team eventually squandered. Oh yes, both of his strikes were world-class efforts resulting in good goals. It would be interesting to see if Ritwik is able to repeat his heroics against East Bengal, who were heavily interested to get his services before the season.
Did You Know?
- East Bengal defeated Jamshedpur FC in the first-leg fixture between the two sides at Jamshedpur.
- East Bengal were heavily linked with Ritwik Das for a possible move at the beginning of the season.
- Alex Lima and Mobasir Rahman of East Bengal are former Jamshedpur FC footballers.
The match between East Bengal and Jamshedpur FC will take place at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, also known as the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, on January 13th (Friday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the match.