The Red & Gold Brigade are yet to register their first win of the season.

A buoyant Bengaluru FC will look to build on their newfound form when they take on wooden spooners SC East Bengal in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Tuesday.

The Blues embark on the new year high on confidence after notching up their second win of the campaign after a spell of seven winless encounters. They had the rub of the green but Marco Pezzaiuoli’s charges showed a lot of character against Chennaiyin FC in their last outing, betraying their recent run of three games where they have looked the part.

Cleiton Silva has been the shining light for the former champions in a season where they have lacked the spark until the last game and before that, managing to keep a clean sheet after a long time. Besides Cleiton, Udanta Singh also seemed to have got back his form not only because of the goal but his overall display. Ashique Kuruniyan has also looked good with the likes of Parag Shrivas, Roshan Naorem and Ajith Kamaraj also impressing in fits and starts.

“Winning games gives us energy, we scored our last two penalties after we missed our first two, these things make a difference in these games. Leon Augustine and Musavu-King will miss the game due to injury while Sarthak Golui is still not available due to personal reasons,” said Pezzauioli.

“Considering SC East Bengal have a new coach, we don’t know much about their style of play. We’re not preparing specifically for them, we’re going to train hard to win and focus on ourselves,” he added.

Regarding the takeaways from the previous game, he said, “The players who came inside (were brought on as substitutes) made the right choices and scored goals which are nice for the coach and the team. And when you win a game, it gives you energy for the next game. 

“Now we’re facing East Bengal who on the rankings aren’t in a high position. So usually you are favourites in the (such a) game because you are above them on the rankings. But it’s not going to be an easy game because they’ve had ten days now for recovering from their (previous) game. This means we really need to be focused. When you’re not as focused such as the Chennaiyin game, ATK (Mohun Bagan), Mumbai (City FC) or (FC) Goa like a 100%, then these games get very difficult. (Also), East Bengal didn’t play bad in all the games and they had a lot of chances but maybe they didn’t have the right luck on their side,” Pezzaiuoli further added.

Placed eighth in the points table, Bengaluru will take on SC East Bengal knowing that they have a golden opportunity to climb up the table. SC East Bengal are the only team so far to not register a victory in eight games.

The red and golds will be without key player Antonio Perosevic who is serving a suspension and will have Renedy Singh in the dugout as interim coach after Jose Manuel Diaz mutually parted ways with the club. Former India captain Renedy will have a point to prove in his first stint managing a side in the Hero ISL.

“The job at hand is a difficult one. No one wants to be in the place SC East Bengal is at. For me, I take this as a good challenge, to show that we can do better, and if we keep fighting till the end and I am sure we will do better,” said Renedy.

“”We just have to keep going. The match against Hyderabad FC was a good performance. I will be in-charge for the next three to four matches, so I will have around six days to work with the boys. I am happy with their hard work, and now they just have to put that fight into tomorrow’s game,” he further added.

SC East Bengal have announced Mario Rivera as their new head coach but the Spaniard, who has coached the team before, won’t be available for the game against Bengaluru. The Kolkata side have looked lacklustre at the back to say the least and have also not shown spark in the middle of the park. Daniel Chima Chukwu has flattered to deceive so far and the side also are dealing with injury issues to Franjo Prce and Jackichand Singh.

Team News

In Bengaluru FC’s case, Leon Augustine and Yrondu-Musavu King continue to remain injured while Sarthak Golui is unavailable due to personal reasons. Otherwise, it’s the same players who were previously ruled out such as Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Amey Morajkar.

For SC East Bengal, Raju Gaikwad, Franjo Prce, jackichand Singh and Darren Sidoel will miss the match, as they are either injured or currently recovering. Antonio Perosevic is also out, as he is currently serving a five-match ban.

Predicted XI

Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet (GK); Ajith, Alan Costa, Parag, Naorem Roshan, Wangjam, Bruno, Farooq, Ashique, Ibara, Cleiton.

SC East Bengal: Arindam (GK); Joyner, Mrcela, Adil Khan, Hira Mondal, Amarjit, Sourav Das, Rafique, Dervisevic, Mahesh, Chima.

Did You Know?

  • SC East Bengal rank eleventh (last) in terms of shots on target per match (2.5).
  • Despite being the second highest in terms of goals conceded (18), SCEB are also second for saves (22).
  • A loss or draw against Bengaluru FC tomorrow would mean SCEB break their own winless starting record of last season (8) to 9.
  • Bengaluru FC have had four penalties awarded to them this season – highest in the league so far.


The kick-off for the match between Bengaluru FC vs SC East Bengaluru, is at 7:30 pm IST on January 4. The match will be telecast LIVE on the Star Sports Network and is available for streaming LIVE in the Disney+Hotstar platform and the JioTV app.

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