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I-League: Bengaluru FC vs East Bengal - Match Preview

Match Preview of the I-League clash between Bengaluru FC and East Bengal at the Kanteerava Stadium

SENIOR ANALYST
Preview 03 May 2015, 01:43 IST
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Bengaluru FC vs East Bengal

Bengaluru FC take on East Bengal in a mouthwatering I-League clash at the Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru. There is a gap of just 2 points between the two sides and both of them are in contention to win the I-League. East Bengal have a very good track record against Ashley Westwood’s side.

Since the inception of the club in 2013, Bengaluru FC have faced the Kolkata giants 5 times and have lost all the 5 games. East Bengal will take positives from their previous performances against Bengaluru and go all out for the three points. Bengaluru, on the other hand, will try their level best to turn the odds in their favour and move ahead in the league table. The match will grab a lot of eyeballs and a brilliant game is on the cards.

Venue

Sri Kanteerava Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bengaluru, India. It is used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 24,000 people. It also includes two outdoor rock climbing walls, a running track, a football field and a volleyball court. It is Bengaluru's main sports stadium and several national level teams hold their training sessions here.

Kick-off

May 3, 2015: 7:00 pm IST

Probable starting line-ups

Bengaluru FC (4-5-1): Lalthuammawia Ralte; Rinto Anto, John Johnson, Curtis Osano, Keegan Perreira; Josh Walker, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Thoi Singh, Sunil Chhetri, C.K Vineeth; Robin Singh

Ashley Westwood has a fit team at his disposal for this important I-League tie against East Bengal. They will be high on confidence after a brilliant win against Maldives’ Maziya Sports and Recreation Club this week in the AFC Cup group stage. The team is in brilliant shape and the fans can expect an energetic performance from their side.

East Bengal (4-4-2-): Abhijit Mondal; Abhishek Das, Gurwinder Singh, Raju Gaikwad, R. Dhanarajan; Shylo ‘Mama’ Malsawmtluanga, Mehtab Hossain; Cavin Lobo, Harmanjyot Khabra; Ranti Martins, Dudu Omagbemi.

East Bengal are on a tantalizing run in the I-League. They have remained unbeaten in the last five matches winning 4. They received a setback this week when they went down by a goal to nil against a strong Johor Darul Ta’zim side in the AFC Cup. Eelco Schattorie had fielded a second tier side in that game so that he can get a full squad to choose from in the I-League.

Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi has some injury troubles, but is expected to feature in tomorrow’s game. Leo Bertos and Lalrindika Ralte are out of this clash due to injuries. Schattorie’s concern will be the absence of two main center-backs Milan Susak and Arnab Mondal. In the absence of the duo, Gurwinder Singh and Raju Gaikwad needs to give stellar performances in order to stop the intimidating Bengaluru attack.

Key Battles

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri v Gurwinder Singh

Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri is definitely the most intimidating player of the team. The India international is in sublime form and is leading his team from the front. Most recently, he scored a brace to guide Bengaluru FC to a superb win in the AFC Cup and, as a result, the club qualified to the second round in their debut attempt. Chhetri does not have many goals under his belt in the I-League this season, but he acts a feeder operating from the left side. Gurwinder Singh has to take up added responsibilities to mark Chhetri.

Ranti Martins vs John Johnson

Ranti Martins

Ranti Martins is in devastating form this season. The Nigerian has scored 16 goals in the 15 appearances for East Bengal so far. He recently reached the milestone of 200 goals in I-League. It speaks volumes for the quality of the forward. Ashley Westwood has to plan a strong strategy to stop Martins. His plans will revolve around defender John Johnson, who has to mark The Nigerian and prevent him from having a major say in the game.

Prediction

Bengaluru FC 1-1 East Bengal

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