Both teams look equally competitive based on recent form.

The upcoming clash between Bengaluru FC and SC East Bengal is going to be entertaining for several reasons. The respective clubs started their Indian Super League 2020-21 campaigns in different fashion, but, given their current form, the game is building up to be a tight fixture with no favourites.

Bengaluru FC step into this fixture on the back of a humiliating defeat to Mumbai City FC by a scoreline of 3-1, which also led to the sacking of head coach Carles Cuadrat. It will be interesting to see how the players respond in such a scenario and what the tactics are moving forward.

As for East Bengal, their last few performances have been decent. The outfit is undefeated in the last four games and has been handed a huge boost by the recruitment of Bright Enobakhare, who has already scored two goals in as many appearances.

With nothing to separate the two sides apart from their league positions, the upcoming fixture is poised to be an entertaining one.

The Stakes

Bengaluru FC were strong contenders for the title at the beginning of the competition, but their recent results have derailed the club’s ambitions. Three defeats in the last three games was unexpected and it also led to the parting of ways with Cuadrat. 

The expectations are obviously high at the club and the recent performances have not been upto the mark. The outfit needs to turn things around quickly to stay in contention for a playoffs finish. 

Meanwhile, Robbie Fowler seems to have finally got the system right in terms of personnel and gameplan. The performances are starting to deliver positive results for the club. Three draws and a win against Odisha FC in the last four games have uplifted the spirits around the team.

The Red and Gold need to keep up the momentum and go on a steady run, collect points and rise up the ladder. A playoffs position is still within reach, despite the odds. The opportunity is perfect to collect three points against a BFC side reeling from the wounds of the last three defeats. 

Team News

With Carles Cuadrat no longer at the helm, it will be interesting to see how the Blues lineup against SCEB. Will Naushad Moosa make changes to the squad or stick with the personnel and tweak the tactics instead? Doubts over Erik Paartalu’s fitness also persist.

Udanta Singh could start after he was replaced by Deshorn Brown, who disappointed against MCFC. BFC need to utilize the wealth of attacking options at their disposal. The interim coach expressed that not much will change on the pitch ahead of the game.

Robbie Fowler has a selection headache before the upcoming fixture due to the unavailability of skipper Danny Fox. The defender will be unavailable due to the red card he received against FC Goa and will serve a one-match suspension.

Enobakhare is an assured starter and the tactician could stick with the 3-4-3 setup yet again, which has brought success in recent games. 

Probable Lineups

Bengaluru FC: Sandhu; Khabra, Chaudhari, Juanan, Bheke; Wangjam, Dimas, Udanta, Chhetri, Silva; Opseth.

SC East Bengal FC: Majumder; Neville, Gaikwad, Gharami; Mukherjee, Milan, Steinmann, Das; Holloway, Enobakhare, Jeje.

Head-to-Head

East Bengal defeated Bengaluru FC 3-1 in their I-League fixture back in 2017

This will be the first time these teams will compete against each other in the ISL. However, the outfits have met in the I-League on eight occasions, with BFC winning three and EB five. Their last fixture ended in a 3-1 victory for the Red and Gold. 

Man to Watch

Dimas Delgado (Bengaluru FC)

The man who orchestrates every attacking move from the middle of the park, Dimas Delgado will be key to BFC’s success. He is indispensable for the Blues, as the midfielder keeps the ball ticking and helps the team maintain possession.

His passing capabilities are unmatched in the league and the opposition will need to shut him down, otherwise his penetrating through balls could cause mayhem for defenders. 

Bright Enobakhare (SC East Bengal FC)

Bright Enobakhare has had an incredible impact since joining the squad. With two vital goals in two games, the Nigerian has quickly shown the quality he brings to the table. The 22-year-old forward is a class above and will look to continue his goalscoring exploits against BFC.

His incredible solo goal against FC Goa is a contender for Goal of the Season. The attacker is pacy and has great control over his dribbling skills. His awareness of space and off the ball movement, coupled with aerial ability make him a complete striker who can hurt any defence. 

Did You Know?

  • SC East Bengal have only kept one clean-sheet in the competition so far, which is the joint-worst alongside FC Goa.
  • With only 86 shots taken, Robbie Fowler’s men have taken the least number of shots in the league.
  • At 43 goals, Sunil Chhetri is only five goals behind all-time leading goalscorer Ferran Corominas (48) in the history of ISL. 

Telecast

The live telecast of the match between Bengaluru FC and SC East Bengal FC will be available on Star Sports 1 SD and HD, Star Sports 2 SD and HD (English), Star Sports Hindi 1 SD and HD, Star Sports 3 and several other regional languages. Live streaming of the match will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV. 

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