Match 29 Preview: SC East Bengal seek first win of the season against Hyderabad

SC East Bengal will be hoping to secure their first win in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they take on Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday. The club from Kolkata will have a tough job on their hands given that Hyderabad are unbeaten this season, but they will be confident after securing their first point of the ongoing campaign in their last match against Jamshedpur FC.

Although Hyderabad have been marred with injuries to many of their key foreigners, Manuel Marquez’s side are a well-oiled unit with their youngsters coming to the fore. In the previous match, only two foreigners started while Subrata Paul, Halicharan Narzary and Souvik Chakrabarti were the only Indians above 25 years in their line-up. Despite fielding a relatively inexperienced side, they still managed a 1-1 draw against ATK Mohun Bagan.

However, with just one goal from open play this season and their main goal-scoring threat Aridane Santana being an injury doubt, the onus will be on Liston Colaco and Narzary to score goals. Colaco has taken 12 shots so far but none of them have been on target while Narzary has not been able to score with any of his shots on target either.

Up against a side who have conceded seven goals in four matches, Hyderabad will back themselves to get on the scoresheet. That said, they will be aware that they must improve on their low shot accuracy of 20.68, if they are hoping for a positive result against SC East Bengal.

"We know that we can have a lot of confidence in the Indian players and when the foreigners recover, we will be very good. I see the Indian players in the training sessions and I am very happy for them because even the younger players are showing a big personality in the game," said Marquez ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, Robbie Fowler’s men will be hoping that after a clean sheet and a point in their last game, SC East Bengal can end their winless run and kickstart their season against Hyderabad. With no Daniel Fox in the backline, SC East Bengal have looked shaky, conceding five goals since the Englishman’s injury.

But their real problems lie up front, where SC East Bengal have failed to score a goal this season. The Kolkata club has the second worst shot accuracy in the league (21.42) while their 42 shots is also the second worst for a team in Hero ISL 2020-21. They have had just nine shots on target in four matches at an average of 2.25 per match.

Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh need to find their scoring boots soon to help their side move up from the bottom of the league table. Their foreign attacking threats Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma also often find themselves in goal-scoring positions and need to do better in the final third having failed to convert any of their chances so far.

SC East Bengal have shown glimpses of their potential without making the most of their opportunities. Even though they will be up against a solid defensive unit as well as a goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in the Hero ISL, Fowler’s men will go into the game with the belief that they can take something from the contest having earned a battling point against the odds in their previous outing.

“We go into every game wanting to win, we don’t go into a game defensive because want to win the game. That is the attitude I am trying to instil in the players. We never go in there and not want to win. It was not a case of us being ultra defensive [against Jamshedpur] it was a case of us fighting together and let’s not get beat,” Robbie Fowler shared ahead of the game.

Squads:

Hyderabad FC

Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Subrata Paul

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Odei Onaindia, Sahil Panwar

Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes

Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu

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

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 29: Hyderabad FC vs SC East Bengal

Date: December 15 (Tuesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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