SC East Bengal will be locking horns against FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco in what will be a battle between the two-bottom placed teams in the 2021-22 season. Both of these sides have struggled this season and they are the only two teams winless in the league so far.
The two outfits know that there won't be a better opportunity than this to end their winless streak in the campaign. The Red and Gold Brigade have managed to get only two points from their opening four games while the Gaurs have lost all their three matches in the league.
The match between East Bengal and Goa is going to be very entertaining for both sets of fans as well as for the neutrals. Here are the five things to expect from this match:
Both East Bengal and Goa will eye for maiden winHaving been winless in their opening matches, both East Bengal and Goa will be looking to get their ISL campaign back on track. They will now be looking to register their first victory of the season. The match could also have a huge impact on both teams' chances of getting into the playoffs.
There is no getting away from the fact that a defeat in this match will leave the losing team at the bottom of the table. So, both the managers will be wary of losing this another match. The fans and spectators can expect a very cagey affair on Tuesday.
Big test for both defence
FC Goa has been known as one of the best defensive units but their defensive performance has miserably gone down this season. A team of their calibre have conceded as many as eights goals in only three games. Juan Ferrando will be working very hard to find a balance and improve the club's leaky defence.
On the other hand, East Bengal has seen struggling at the right-back position. In the absence of Ankit Mukherjee, Manolo Diaz tried Md. Rafique, Raju Gaikwad, Joyner Lourenco, and Daniel Gomes but none was seen confident at that position. They conceded 10 goals in the first three games but their defence fought valiantly against Chennaiyin to earn themselves one point and a clean sheet. The backline needs to be more consistent.
Clinical Finishing from FC Goa
FC Goa played an all-out attacking football against North East United but couldn't get the much needed three points courtesy of their poor finishing. They registered 22 shots against the Highlanders. Out of them, 9 was on target and only one went into the back of the net. This stat clearly proves their inability to convert chances into goals.
Last season, they had Igor Angulo who scored 14 goals with a conversion rate of 27%. This season they are lacking in this department as Jorge Ortiz, Airam Cabrera, and Devendra Murgaonkar have failed to rise to the occasion so far. Goa head coach Juan Ferrando must be working with his team to improve their play in front of the opponent goal.
Amir-Chima-Perosevic together in the First XI
Antonio Perosevic came off the bench in the last game replacing Daniel Sidoel who had a very bad game against the Marina Machans. The substitute showed some glimpses but couldn't make a big impact. Antonio will likely make a comeback into the playing XI replacing the Dutch midfielder.
Daniel Chima has marked his presence in the last two games and is currently irreplaceable in the East Bengal squad. The Nigerian forward has also played a vital role in defending set-pieces.
The Red and Gold Brigade had high hopes from Amir Dervisevic but the Slovenian midfielder has failed to match the expectations from the fans so far. Coach, Manolo Diaz will once again count on him to create chances from the deep.
So, if everything goes well we can see the trio starting together for the first time season and the fans will once again rely on them to show up against FC Goa.
First start in the ISL for Muhammed Nemil
Muhammed Nemil made his ISL debut against North East United FC when he came off the bench in the 67th minute replacing Princeton Rebello. This was his first appearance since recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the pre-season friendly. He has the ability to link up with teammates, he has got both the power and accuracy and he has the tendency to shoot from distance.
He is a graduate of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy and has joined FC Goa after completing a two-year spell at the Marcet High-Performance Academy in Spain. The 19-year-old midfielder signed a four-year contract with Goa in October 2020.
Nemil has registered four goals and two assists to his name in the recently concluded Durand Cup. Since he has arrived, he can be one of the biggest surprises in the ISL this season.
Probable Starting Lineups:
SC East Bengal: Suvam Sen (GK), Joyner Lourenco, Tomislav Mrcela (C), Adil Khan, Hira Mondal, Mohammad Rafique, Amir Dervisevic, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Naorem Singh, Antonio Perosevic, Daniel Chukwu.
FC Goa: Dheeraj Moirangthem (GK), Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, Dylan Fox, Sanson Pereira, Edu Bedia (C), Glan Martins; Alexander Jesuraj, Muhammed Nemil, Jorge Ortiz, Devendra Murgaonkar.