Match 108 Preview: SC East Bengal look to complete double over Odisha FC
Odisha FC will be hoping to end their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 campaign on a high when they face SC East Bengal at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. The Bhubaneswar-based club have won just one match all season and are winless in their last 10 matches. Bottom of the standings, Odisha FC will be targeting at least one point to avoid finishing with the joint record of fewest points accumulated by a team in a season.
Another unwanted record that Odisha FC are in danger of picking up is becoming the team that has conceded the most goals in a season. After a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Mumbai City FC in their last outing, Odisha FC need to keep a clean sheet to avoid going past Hyderabad FC’s record of conceding 39 times from last season.
Odisha FC though have struggled to keep clean sheets this season and will find it difficult to contain an SC East Bengal side that has plenty of talented attackers. Offensively, Diego Mauricio will be Odisha FC’s biggest threat going forward. The Brazilian attackers has scored 11 goals and provided one assist for a team that has been bereft of goal-scorers. Still the only team to not have an Indian goal-scorer so far, Odisha FC will be eager to rectify that on Saturday.
“I have got just one message for fans. I know we had a really bad season… Just keep faith in us, believe in us. We have learnt so many things this season. We will work on our shortcomings. We will try to correct, try to play better football [next season] than this. Keep supporting us, we will definitely give you reasons to cheer and celebrate next year,” Odisha FC interim head coach Steven Dias said ahead of the game.
SC East Bengal, meanwhile, will be hoping to finish their debut Hero ISL campaign with some positivity after a difficult season with numerous challenges. They will have head coach Robbie Fowler back on the sidelines after the Englishman served a four-match ban and you can rest assured that his presence will have a positive influence on the players.
Winless in their last three matches, SC East Bengal will head into the contest with fond memories of picking up their first win in the league at the expense of Odisha FC earlier in the campaign. Fowler’s men in truth have been good in patches without finding the consistency required of teams that want to challenge for the top four spots.
They improved gradually over the course of the campaign and had their moments, notching up three wins in their debut campaign so far. The mercurial Bright Enobakhare is one positive and his solo effort against FC Goa, which is a contender for goal of the season, will be a lasting memory from Hero ISL 2020-21. Matti Steinmann is another individual who has impressed at the heart of midfield having contributed four goals and three assists besides also fulfilling his defensive responsibilities.
"There is still a lot to play for. Our players will go into the match with the right attitude. We know we have many supporters across the world and it is our duty as staff and players to perform to our very best as always," Fowler said ahead of the clash.
Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan
Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob, Hendry Antonay, Rakesh Pradhan
Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh, Bradden Inman
Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh
SC East Bengal
Goalkeepers: Debjit Majumder, Mirshad Michu, Suvam Sen, Subrata Paul
Defenders: Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Narayan Das, Gurtej Singh, N Rohen Singh, Lalramchullova, Rana Gharami, Anil Chawan, Raju Gaikwad, Ankit Mukherjee, Sarthak Golui
Midfielders: Sehnaj Singh, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Wahengbam Luwang, Bikash Jairu, Yumnam Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Meitei, Mohammed Rafique, Aaron Joshua Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Milan Singh, Haobam Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Sourav Das
Forwards: Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh, Bright Enobakhare
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 108: Odisha FC vs SC East Bengal
Date: February 27 (Saturday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV