I-League 2017: East Bengal forward VP Suhair suffers injury ahead of Shillong Lajong game
The forward's absence on the field could have a major say in the outcome of the game.
What's the story?
East Bengal have been dealt a huge blow ahead of an important clash with Shillong Lajong FC as their forward VP Suhair has been ruled out of the encounter, having twisted his knee during a practice session.
In case you didn't know
East Bengal came into the tournament on the back of coming through major speculations with a lot of issues being raised over funds and the inability of a home stadium.
The Red and Gold brigade, who have started off on a dismal note, have already incurred a loss in their first two matches. Having lost against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata Derby in their previous game, they will need to pull their act together against Lajong.
The heart of the matter
The Barasat Stadium where both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are set to host their next home games, respectively, has come under a lot of criticism due to the presence of artificial turf, which many players have claimed to be unsafe to play on.
These concerns were proved right when East Bengal's Suhair picked up an injury and had to be assisted off the field by Joby Justin, having landed badly and twisted his knee while attempting a header.
What is worse for East Bengal is the fact that their strikers have failed to make an impact and while Suhair's form from the Calcutta Football League could have helped them majorly, his absence on the field greatly reduces the attacking options for coach Khalid Jamil.
East Bengal are all set to face Shilling Lajong on Saturday. Jamil, who has come under severe criticism, will hope his men can bring their A-game to collect three important points with a win.
The injury to VP Suhair will indeed serve as a major setback but East Bengal's squad has a promising bunch of talented players, who will need to step up to the plate and camouflage the Keralite's absence.