East Bengal FC and Punjab FC will embark on their final league fixture of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season when they lock horns at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on April 10, Wednesday, at 7:30 pm IST.

The Red & Gold Brigade have a serious chance of qualifying for the playoffs with a prospective victory in this match that will potentially take them to 27 points at the end of 22 games. They need that slight cushion of advantage as either NorthEast United FC (23) or Chennaiyin FC (24), or both of them, will drop points when they square off.

The Carles Cuadrat-coached side has turned things around with consecutive victories in their last two matches. Contrastingly, things took a turn for the worse for Punjab FC, who have accumulated 21 points from as many games this season.

At one point, they had a definite chance of sealing a spot in the top-six. However, dropping 11 points from a possible 15 in their previous five encounters derailed their charge for the playoffs completely.

What’s at stake?

Punjab FC

Punjab FC came back strongly to get some crucial results under their belt in the second half of the current campaign. However, having not kept a clean sheet in their last three games, a failure to do so in this match will result in their longest ever such run in the competition. Particularly in the frontline, Punjab FC have relied primarily on their attacking trio of Wilmar Jordan Gil, Luka Majcen, and Madih Talal.

However, they have aggregated a dribble success rate of 40.7% (148/364 dribbles completed) in the current season, the lowest of all sides and over six percentage points less than East Bengal FC (46.9%). Being the first-ever promoted team in league history, Punjab FC have a chance to make an impact by spoiling the playoffs qualifications prospects of East Bengal FC.

East Bengal FC

Their successive victories in the last two games have made it the first instance that East Bengal FC have recorded consecutive wins in the ISL. The previous fixture between the two sides had resulted in a goalless draw in December. The Red & Gold Brigade have found the back of the net multiple times in each of their last two matches. Doing so again in this match will make it their longest such streak in the ISL.

However, they might have to keep a close watch on their disciplinary record before this game. East Bengal FC have conceded 139 fouls in the ISL since the start of 2024, and they have also received the most yellow cards (39) during this time period. Whilst the offence has been taking care of itself lately, the defence will bank on Hijazi Maher to keep things neat at the back, having registered 3.8 headed clearances in the ISL since the beginning of this calendar year.

Key Players to Watch Out

Naorem Mahesh Singh (East Bengal FC)

The Indian forward has scored four goals and assisted twice in 20 league appearances this season. Naorem Mahesh Singh has registered 48 touches in the box of the opposition, making 24 successful dribbles, 30 key passes, and having created 32 goal-scoring opportunities, which is second-highest amongst all Indian players after Brandon Fernandes (47).

He has taken six shots on target, making 95 recoveries, winning 108 duels, and notching a goal conversion rate of 36.66% in the current campaign. With 29 passes on average per game at 76%, Mahesh has been an industrious presence in the East Bengal FC frontline.

Dimitris Chatziisaias (Punjab FC)

The Greek central defender has helped Punjab FC keep five clean sheets in the 19 appearances he has made for them in the current campaign. Dimitrios Chatziisaias has made 10 blocks, won 15 tackles, 21 interceptions, emerged victorious in 77 duels and 39 aerial duels, along with making 96 recoveries and 99 clearances in 2023-24. Chatziisaias has attempted 33 passes per game at 80% accuracy, thus emerging as a reliable figure in the back for the Punjab FC unit.

Read More


Played – 1

Punjab FC – 0

East Bengal FC – 0

Draws – 1

Trivia: 57.8% of the passes attempted by Punjab FC’s Mohammed Salah in the current ISL season have been forward passes.

Team Talk

“The support here is very nice, and we will be trying to put our best foot forward in this match,” Punjab FC Head Coach Staikos Vergetis quipped in the pre-match press conference.

“We need to prepare well for the next game. Football is often a very physical game and we have been playing top teams every few days, so we need to be ready,” East Bengal FC Head Coach Carles Cuadrat said.

ISL Fantasy

Luka Majcen (8cr)

Has won 71 ISL fantasy points this season

Wilmar Jordan Gil (5.2cr)

Has accumulated 47 ISL fantasy points in 2023-24

Cleiton Silva (6.1cr)

Has been picked by 18% of the ISL fantasy users this season

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation ®️ ️5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, which will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at: https://fantasy.indiansuperleague.com/

Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). Fans can also catch the action streaming Live for free on JioCinema, the home of Indian football. In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.