Talking Point: SC East Bengal’s misfiring attack takes on Bengaluru’s leaky defence

Match 80 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see SC East Bengal take on Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday. A single goal scored by Matti Steinmann ensured a 1-0 victory for SC East Bengal over the Blues in the reverse fixture but since then, the club from Kolkata have failed to win a match. Here, we look at some of the talking points from the upcoming encounter between the two teams.

Leaky defence vs Misfiring attack

Bengaluru have kept only two clean sheets this season, which indicates their defensive deficiencies. Conceding 19 goals in 14 matches is something that the Blues are not familiar with and can be exploited by SC East Bengal’s attackers. However, Robbie Fowler’s side hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons in front of goal with only 12 goals to show for their efforts. SC East Bengal, in fact, last scored a goal from open play in their 1-0 victory over the Blues and they will hope for a similar outcome when the two sides meet on Tuesday.    

SC East Bengal’s Indian attackers need to improve

SC East Bengal’s Indian players are yet to make a telling contribution for their team, especially on the attacking front. The side have scored 12 goals but do not have a single Indian goal-scorer among their ranks. Young forward Harmanpreet Singh came off the bench for his team against FC Goa and almost won the game but failed to convert his late chance from close range. Meanwhile, Indian striker Jeje Lalpekhlua is yet to find the net this season and has only contributed one assist so far. Their domestic attackers need to help and complement their foreign recruits if the Kolkata club want to secure the three points and boost their semi-final prospects.

Juanan, Erik Paartalu’s absence may reduce Bengaluru’s sting during set-pieces

Bengaluru have had their fair share of problems this season, but they can still take pride in their ability to score goals from set-pieces. However, they will be without Juanan (injury) and Erik Paartalu (suspension) against SC East Bengal and the two regulars for the Blues will be missed, especially during set-pieces in either box. Spanish defender Juanan has scored two goals this season – both coming from set-pieces – and Paartalu netted from a corner to earn a point in their match against bottom-placed Odisha FC. Although the side still have the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Cleiton Silva available to them, Juanan and Paartalu’s absence could be felt against an SC East Bengal side that has been suspect in set-piece situations at times.

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