East Bengal host Chennai City in a top of the table clash on Tuesday in the I-League. Both the teams are unbeaten so far and sitting at top of the ladder courtesy their great performance on the pitch.
East Bengal come into this game with two wins out of two against Neroca FC and Shillong Lajong in the hills. It will be the first home game of the I-League for the Red and Golds. Chennai City FC have won two out of their three games so far. The Men in Orange got the better of Indian Arrows and Gokulam Kerala while were held to a 2-2 draw by Churchill Brothers.
Menendez will be relying on Mexican striker Enrique Esqueda and Jobby Justin upfront to notch up the goals. Mahmoud Al-Amna is still not match-fit and is likely to miss the game. The resilient duo of Borja Gomez Peres and Johnny Acosta will be responsible for containing the lethal Chennai City attacking front.
I-League's current highest goal-scorer Pedro Javier Manzi is still doubtful for the match after he was substituted for pulling up his hamstring in the game against Gokulam Kerala FC. His absence will certainly hamper the chances of Chennai City FC.
Accordingly, Akbar Nawas will hope that his other attacking minded players like Jesus Nestor and Sandro step up and fill the possible void left by Manzi.
Date: 13th November 2018
Kick-off: 5 PM IST
Live Telecast: Star Sports 3
Live Streaming: JIO Sports on JIO TV App, Hotstar
Venue: Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan (or Salt Lake Stadium), Kolkata
Last two meetings
22/12/2017 : Chennai City FC 1-2 East Bengal
24/02/2018 : East Bengal 7-1 Chennai City FC
Probable line-ups :
East Bengal (5-3-2): Rakshit Dagar (GK), Manoj Mohammed, Lalramchullova, Kamalpreet Singh, Borja Gomez Perez, Johnny Acosta, Yami Longvah, Lalrindika Ralte (C), Laldanmawia Ralte, Enrique Esqueda, Jobby Justin
Chennai City FC (4-5-1): Kabir (GK), Ajithkumar, Gaurav Bora, Edwin Vanspaul, Roberto, Pravitto, Charles Anandraj, Alexander Jesuraj, Sandro, Nestor Jesus (C), Ameerudeen
Pedro Manzi may come on in the Second Half.
Enrique Esqueda (East Bengal): The Mexican has caught everybody's attention with his skills with the ball and what he can do with it. Esqueda has been involved in the three goals out of the five his team has scored so far. Scoring twice himself and setting up Joby in the two games.
Esqueda's brilliance has also earned him as the 'Best Player of Week 1' in the ongoing I-League. He has combined well with Joby Justin and Laldanmawia upfront giving East Bengal the extra impetus they lacked all these years in the attacking front.
Nestor Jesus Gordillo (Chennai City FC): With Pedro Manzi probably being ruled out of the East Bengal tie, the onus will be on the other Spaniard to create scoring chances and as well find the back of the net at the same time.
He has been scoring and also doing his job to create as many chances as he can which has earned him as one of the early favourites among the Chennai City faithful. He has to combine with Sandro and allow Ameeruddin upfront enough space to exploit.