Match 23 Preview: SC East Bengal look to kick-start season with win against Jamshedpur

Jamshedpur FC will be looking to secure back-to-back wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they face SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Thursday. Owen Coyle’s men picked up their first win of the season in their last outing and will be looking to build on their momentum with another victory.

One of the few teams to score in all their matches this season, Jamshedpur always look like they have a goal in them with talisman Nerijus Valskis spearheading their frontline. The Lithuanian forward has scored five of Jamshedpur’s six goals and will be their main threat going forward against an SC East Bengal side that’s failed to keep a clean sheet so far.

Coyle’s likely to field another forward alongside Valskis after his decision of using two strikers against a defensively resolute ATK Mohun Bagan side paid off last time around. Their midfield of Aitor Monroy, Alexandre Lima, Jackichand Singh and Mohammad Mobashir were also influential in their previous match and will be hoping to have a similar impact against SC East Bengal.

They will, however, be hoping for a better defensive showing having failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their matches. They have faced more shots on target (23) than any other side and will need to be more solid at the back as the season wears on. In Stephen Eze and Peter Hartley, Jamshedpur have an experienced centre-back pairing that will know that they can do better as Coyle’s men eye more defensive solidity.

“I’ve watched all three of SC East Bengal’s games and they have been very unlucky not to take something from them. They have been giving great performances but have had some bad luck and injuries here and there. They have some very good players and a very good coach in Robbie Fowler, so it’s going to be a very tough game,” Coyle said ahead of the game.

SC East Bengal, on the other hand, will head into the clash against Jamshedpur as the only side in the league yet to score a goal and pick up a point this season. They have conceded seven times with five of those goals coming in the second half. Another loss against Jamshedpur would make SC East Bengal the first team to lose their opening four Hero ISL matches.

Robbie Fowler’s men, though, will know that they are capable of beating any team in the league on their day if they play to their potential. The likes of Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma and Anthony Pilkington are capable of controlling the midfield and carving open any opposition defence, and SC East Bengal fans will be hoping that they come good this Thursday.

A misfiring frontline has been another area of concern for Fowler but with options like Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh and CK Vineeth to pick from, it’s only a matter of time before the Kolkata giants find their scoring touch. They must also improve defensively having struggled to cope with skipper Daniel Fox out injured. That said, they still have experienced heads like Scott Neville and Narayan Das who are capable of galvanizing their backline.

“Strategy means nothing at times when you have got a player [like Nerijus Valskis] who is playing well and scoring goals, it’s difficult to stop. We have a plan like we do going into every game. We’ll have an emphasis on obviously stopping them from scoring and us trying to score. Our emphasis will be to get that first goal because I think it’s proven in the previous game that when you go behind, it’s difficult to get back into the game. So hopefully it’ll be a little different. Regardless of them playing as well as they are, if we get the first goal then we might see a different team,” Fowler said ahead of the game.


SC East Bengal

Goalkeepers: Debjit Majumder, Sankar Roy, Mirshad Michu, Rafique Ali

Defenders: Samad Mallick, Abhishek Ambekar, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Narayan Das, Mohamad Irshad, Gurtej Singh, N Rohen Singh, Lalramchullova, Rana Gharami, Anil Chawan

Midfielders: Sehnaj Singh, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Wahengbam Luwang, Bikash Jairu, Yumnam Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Meitei, Mohammed Rafique, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Milan Singh, Haobam Singh

Forwards: Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh

Jamshedpur FC

Goalkeepers: Pawan Kumar, Niraj Kumar, TP Rehenesh, Raj Mahato, Vishal Yadav

Defenders: Narender Gahlot, Joyner Lourenco, Ricky Lallawmawma, Sandip Mandi, Laldinliana Renthlei, Karan Amin, Peter Hartley, Stephen Eze, Subhash Barua, Manash Protim Gogoi

Midfielders: Aitor Monroy, Alexandre Lima, Amarjit Singh, Jackichand Singh, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Mohammad Mobashir, Jitendra Singh, Gaurab, Manisana Singh, Harsha Parui, Gorachand Mamdi, Billu Teli

Forwards: Nerijus Valskis, William Lalnunfela, John Fitzgerald, David Grande, Sapam Kennedy, Bhupender Singh, Aniket Jadhav

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 23: SC East Bengal vs Jamshedpur FC

Date: December 10 (Thursday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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