A struggling SC East Bengal side will face off against two-time champions Chennaiyin FC on Saturday in the Indian Super League (ISL). Robbie Fowler’s side have just two points from six games and are coming off a disappointing draw against Kerala Blasters where they gave away the lead in the dying minutes of the match. Csaba Laszlo’s troops have picked up their form slightly with a positive result against FC Goa in their last game.
Chennaiyin have failed to score in just one of their four away matches this term. On the flip side, the Red and Golds are yet to score in any of their home matches till now. Moreover, the Marina Machans are difficult to beat once they have taken the lead, as Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa would testify. The only time this season that their lead has been reversed was in the match against a strong Mumbai City side. This statistic becomes all the more relevant because Fowler’s men haven’t been able to come back after falling behind in matches this season. In both their draws, they were the ones who took the lead.
Fowler is yet to find his best eleven and that is one of the things that has been plaguing his side. Sehnaj Singh has had to fill in at centre-back in the absence of Daniel Fox and continued alongside the Scotsman in a back three against Kerala Blasters. Jeje’s fitness is still a bit of a concern for them but in Maghoma and Pilkington with Mohammed Rafique behind them, Fowler seems to have found a bankable front three for the time being. It will also be interesting to see if he starts Bikash Jairu, Haobam Tomba Singh and Yumnam Gopi Singh after all three gave a good account of themselves in the last game.
For Chennaiyin, Laszlo has hinted that he might rest attacker Isma for this one. Reagan Singh is another one who misses out due to the accumulation of four yellow cards. Edwin Vanspaul might come into the side in his place. Deepak Tangri, who has featured in every match so far and should start once more alongside Anirudh Thapa. Enes Sipovic might also come in to replace one of Eli Sabia and Memo while Rahim Ali would also be hopeful of a start following his winner against Goa. However, the player that holds the key for them is Rafael Crivellaro. He got a goal and an assist in the last game and much of what Laszlo wants his side to do will revolve around him in the attacking third.
Predicted Lineups and Result
SC East Bengal:
Debjit Majumder, Surchandra Singh, Scott Neville, Daniel Fox, Sehnaj Singh, Bikash Jairu, Matti Steinmann, Haobam Tomba Singh, Mohammed Rafique, Jacques Maghoma, Anthony Pilkington
Vishal Kaith, Edwin Vanspaul, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Deepak Tangri, Anirudh Thapa, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, Rafael Crivellaro, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jakub Sylvestr
SC East Bengal 1-2 Chennaiyin FC
TV Channel and Livestream
The match will be telecast across Star Network’s sports and regional channels. The match can be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV. Kick-off is at 7:30 pm.