Both teams dropped points in their respective opening games of the season.

Kolkata giants Quess East Bengal will be squaring off against 2017-18 champions Punjab FC in the eighth match of the 2019-20 season of the Hero I-League at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday.

Punjab FC have not had a great outing against Churchill Brothers FC Goa, where they went down by a scoreline of 3-0. The team from Ludhiana will be playing their first match at their home ground and will be under immense pressure as they will be missing captain Anwar Ali, who was sent off in the match against the Red Machines.

The defence may be an area for concern for Punjab Head Coach, Yan Law, as they were left exposed against Churchill Brothers in a match where they conceded as many as three goals. The coach will also be concerned about the finishing and chance-creation of the team as they go up against an immensely attack-minded opposition.

Speaking ahead of the match against East Bengal, Punjab FC, Head Coach, Yan Law said, “We had a disappointing result against Churchill Brothers on the opening game of the season. According to stats, the game was played evenly, we actually had more chances than the opposition, but failed to convert any as the Churchill defence held us well. Our lapse in defending in the midfield and attacking third caused us problems in the defending third.”

He resonated confidence in his team, however, and added, “We have worked on all the problems, analysed everything in detail where things went wrong, and the boys are pretty confident for the next game against Quess East Bengal at home.

“This season, our team has good depth in the squad. We have good players who will be making their way into the team in the next game, and some major tactical changes have been made as Anwar Ali is missing from our defence.”

Quess East Bengal, on the other hand, will be disappointed with a 1-1 draw at home in their last game against Real Kashmir, considering the fact that they dominated the match with 64 percent possession, and had the lion’s share of chances.

Their Spanish imports of the team looked sharp in midfield but lacked the killing instinct and failed to conjure-up three points in front of an 11,000-odd strong home support. Quess East Bengal Gaffer, Alejandro Menéndez, however, maintained that last game’s result will not change his team’s approach towards the game.

“We have prepared the team in the same way as the first game. We promise good football and a good game. The idea is to approach the game in the same way and try to score as many goals as possible,” said Menéndez.

The match will be broadcast LIVE on DSPORT from 2:00 PM IST on Saturday, December 7, 2019.