Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Fowler’s men eye much-needed win in race to playoffs

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SC East Bengal have 13 points from 14 matches but still have a faint chance of reaching the playoffs. And, the Kolkata side will be hoping to boost their playoffs hopes when they face Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Tuesday. SCEB are currently four points away from fourth spot but Fowler believes his side is still in the race, despite the position they find themselves in.

SC East Bengal and Bengaluru FC lock horns in a battle for survival at the Indian Super League (ISL) on Tuesday. The two teams desperately need the three points to keep their playoff hopes alive. SC East Bengal are on an upward curve lately after an underwhelming initial start to the ISL. The Red and Golds are currently 10th in the standings. But they can get closer to the top-four with a few positive results.

Bengaluru FC failed to hold on to a 2-0 lead over Hyderabad FC and drew 2-2 in their previous ISL match. (Image: ISL)

Bengaluru FC are on a seven-game winless run and are in uncharted waters as far as their short club history is concerned. They lack depth in the squad and have an ageing roster. Naushad Moosa’s side will require all three points to lift themselves from the seventh spot on the table.

SC East Bengal vs Bengaluru FC: Blast from the Past!

SC East Bengal will face Bengaluru FC for the 11th time in competitive football. The Red and Golds have won seven times while the Blues have managed just four wins. The only ISL meeting between these two teams was earlier in the current season where SC East Bengal emerged 1-0 winners.

SC East Bengal form guide: W-D-D-L-D

Bengaluru FC form guide: L-D-L-D-D.

SC East Bengal vs Bengaluru FC: Team News

SC East Bengal

Raju Gaikwad is likely to return to the starting line-up after recovering from an injury. Matti Steinmann is also expected to join Milan Singh and Ajay Chhetri in the midfield. New signings, Sarthak Golui and Sourav Das are also available for selection.

Bengaluru FC

Juanan is not available for this game as the Australian is nursing an injury sustained in the previous game. Erik Paartalu will serve a suspension. Parag Shrivas and Leon Augustine are expected to get starts as Naushad Moosa looks to promote the youth in the squad.

SC Bengal vs Bengaluru FC predicted XIs

SC East Bengal

Predicted XI (4-4-2): Debjit Majumder (GK), Scott Neville, Daniel Fox (C), Raju Gaekwad, Narayan Das, Ankit Mukherjee, Jacques Maghoma, Matti Steinmann, Ajay Chhetri, Bright Enobakhare, Harmanpreet Singh.

Bengaluru FC

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Ajith Kumar, Francisco Gonzalez, Parag Srivas, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva, Suresh Wangjam, Leon Augustin, Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri (C).Advertisement

SC East Bengal have managed to solve their defensive woes as the season progressed. But they have had problems when it comes to scoring goals. Bengaluru FC are on an 8-match winless run and pose no major challenge to East Bengal. With both the sides highly inconsistent, the match is likely to end in a draw.