Durand Cup 2019: East Bengal vs Bengaluru FC | Match Preview, Team News, Live Streaming details
Stakes will be high when East Bengal face-off current Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC this coming week in the Durand Cup. The Kolkata-based side is riding high after back-to-back wins in the Durand Cup against Army Red and Jamshedpur FC but, lost to George Telegraph in the Calcutta Football League last week.
A draw against Bengaluru will be enough for them to qualify for the semifinals. Meanwhile, Bengaluru will need no less than a win to stay alive in the competition. These two sides have everything to play for when they lock-horns at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium on August 13.
The red and gold brigade has a much more balanced side, with its assortment of foreign and Indian footballers. After a 2-0 win over Army Red in their opening fixture, they thrashed Jamshedpur FC by a 6-0 margin. It was in the last match that the players showed their class. Comprised of a young Indian contingent, East Bengal startled their counterparts from Jamshedpur with pace and skills.
Facing the likes of Bengaluru FC will be a different ball game altogether. The Spanish coach will be on alert especially after the shocking 0-1 defeat to George Telegraph in the Calcutta Football League last Friday. Even though they fielded a second-string team, the opponents outplayed them on a rainy afternoon at the Kolkata ‘maidan’. This game will give them an opportunity to gain some momentum ahead of the semi-final.
Alejandro Menendez is likely to start with his foreigners against Bengaluru FC. Once again, Jaime Santos Colado will be the player they will look up to. He has been the main lifeline for East Bengal in this season so far. Meanwhile, Borja Gomez will be in charge of the defence. They cannot afford to take the game lightly.
Bengaluru FC played out a 1-1 draw against Army Red in their opener, they lacked the flair in the game. Like most other Indian Super League teams, they are playing with an inexperienced team under the supervision of coach Naushad Moosa. The best policy for them to adopt is to play fearless football in the entire 90 minutes. Although will take some beating for them to qualify for the semi-finals, a win against East Bengal would brighten their chances.
The only thing which might favour them is the fact that they have played a match at the Salt Lake Stadium, while the ‘red and gold’ brigade is yet to play there. Bengaluru FC players were out of ideas in the previous game, which is a big worry for the coach. They cannot afford to play ordinary football against East Bengal or they would be punished heavily.
Pintu Mahata (East Bengal)
The winger was roped in from arch-rivals Mohun Bagan just prior to the season. He impressed everyone with his fierce pace and effective wing play last season. Wasting no time, he was offered a heavier fee by the management to secure his services. It was indeed a good buy. Pintu has shown signs of spark in the ‘red and gold’ jersey. Although he needs a few more games to settle with the team, the footballer will go all guns blazing this Tuesday evening.
Edmund Lalrindika (Bengaluru FC)
Having played for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League last season, much was expected from this youngster, but he had an ordinary day against Army Red. He is one of the more experienced players in the squad, also featuring for Indian Arrows in the 2017-18 I-League. He is capable of making a difference for Bengaluru FC in the upcoming match. Naorem Roshan Singh, Suresh Wangjam and Leon Augustine are also promising talents, they just need to rise up to the occasion.
East Bengal vs Bengaluru FC
Date: 14th August 2019
Kick-off: 6:00 PM IST
Live Stream: addatimes app, addatimes.com
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
East Bengal will fancy their chances of pulling off a comfortable victory against Bengaluru FC in the weekday kick-off. It is unlikely that the JSW-owned side will stage an upset over the 16-time champions.
Score prediction: East Bengal 3-0 Bengaluru FC