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East Bengal's best possible first eleven for the Federation Cup

Modified 10 Jan 2014
East Bengal

East Bengal’s title defence will depend on their strike duo

East Bengal will start their Federation Cup title defense campaign high on confidence after winning the Kolkata league for a record 35th time. They are one of the favorites to lift the title yet again this season, having possibly the best squad on paper.

East Bengal coach Armando Colaco might face tough times to select his best possible first eleven in the tournament, as many of his players still have injury scares, the most notable name being club captain, Mehtab Hossain. Mehtab has not been named in the initial 20 men squad for the Federation cup, but if he recovers he may join the team before semi-final, the rule stating a change can be made in the squad before semis.

Sportskeeda chalks out a possible best eleven for East Bengal in the upcoming Federation Cup.

If Mehtab Hossain is available, the team will be:

Goalkeeper- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

 Defenders- Naoba Singh, Saumik Dey, Uga Okpara, Raju Gaikwad

Midfielders- Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab Hossain (captain), Ryuji Suoeka, Lalrindika Ralte

Strikers- Edeh Chidi, James Moga

If Mehtab Hossain is not available, the team will be:


Goalkeeper- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

 Defenders- Naoba Singh, Saumik Dey, Uga Okpara, Raju Gaikwad

Midfielders- Cavin Lobo, Harmanjot Singh Khabra (captain), Ryuji Suoeka, Lalrindika Ralte

Strikers- Edeh Chidi, James Moga.

Although Arnab Mondal had played most of the I-League games alongside Uga Okpara, his recent poor form may force Armando to promote Raju Gaikwad to the first eleven ahead of Arnab. Also Raju’s powerful throws can be a lethal weapon for the Red and Gold brigade as they are as good as set-pieces. In the Kolkata league we have seen that the India international’s throw-ins have been dangerous especially in the opponents half.

If Mehtab is available, East Bengal’s utility man Khabra will be played in the right wing position. In case of Mehtab’s unavailability, Khabra will be used in former’s position as a defensive midfielder and blocker and Cavin Lobo will be fielded in the right wing position.

A major concern for the East Bengal coach would be the performance of his South Sudanese striker, James Moga. Although the striker has scored many goals in I-League and Kolkata league, he has been wasteful in number of occasions. Also he had created a lot of controversies. On the other hand Colaco can be relieved by the form of talismanic striker, Edeh Chidi who has lately regained his old form scoring quite a few goals.


Whether it’s Mehtab or no Mehtab, the Kolkata league champions will be a formidable side to encounter. With the number of quality players in Colaco’s hand, the Goan coach can hope to defend their title successfully and rope in the second trophy of the season.

The 20 member squad for the Federation Cup:

Goalkeepers- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Avijit Mondal, Abhra Mondal

Defenders- Uga Okpara, Raju Gaikwad, Gurwinder Singh, Arnab Mondal, Thokchom Naoba Singh, Saumik Dey, Robert Lalthlamuana.

Midfielders- Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Ryuji Sueoka, Cavin Lobo, Lalrindika Ralte, Shylo Malswamtlunga, Subodh Kumar.

Strikers- Edeh Chidi, James Moga, Joaquim Abranches, Seimenlen Doungel.

Published 10 Jan 2014, 10:36 IST
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