Super Cup 2018: East Bengal's Khalid Jamil - Dudu will definitely play

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The 40-year-old has shrugged off rumours suggesting that the Nigerian striker will not turn up for Monday's clash

East Bengal are all set to face a depleted FC Goa in their 2018 Super Cup semi-final encounter at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on Monday.

The two sides met once before in a pre-season friendly wherein a full-strength Kolkata-based outfit that consisted of five foreigners emerged 2-1 victors over the Goan Indian Super League (ISL) side who then had only three foreigners taking the field, namely Ahmed Jahouh, Manuel Lanzarote and Bruno Pinheiro.

None of the above-named foreigners will be available for FC Goa on Monday. Jahouh and Mark Sifneos were not registered by the club for the Super Cup while Lanzarote, though registered, did not turn up for the same. Pinheiro joins Hugo Boumous and Sergio Juste among those suspended for the tie.

However, East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil brushed off suggestions of complacency. "There is no difference in the way we are going to prepare for the game. We are going to play against a good team. FC Goa are a good team and it will be very difficult for us.

"You cannot take anybody lightly. They are a big side. Their substitutes are also good and in football, it is all about who are playing," he added.

Echoing the views of his gaffer, defender Eduardo Ferreira said, "There is no easy team in this competition and anywhere in the world. Inside the field, it is 11 is an 11. If you put it in your mind that any particular team is easy, you're going to lose the game. Any player would be working hard against us because East Bengal is a big name in this country. If a player is in FC Goa, it's because he's a good player."

Jamil brushed aside concerns of his side's form while asserting the availability of Dudu Omagbemi despite the Nigerian forward's reported unhappiness with a section of the club's fans.

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"He (Dudu) is fine and he is an experienced player. He knows that this is a vital match for all of us. He's ready for the match. He will definitely play tomorrow (Monday). There is no problem. The main thing is that we have to win the match, whether by one or two goals," said the Red and Golds tactician.

Ferreira, too, called for the supporters to show respect to 'the best striker in the country'.

"For me, Dudu is the best striker in the country. He works hard for the team. We have respect for him and I hope the supporters too respect him in the same way. He's a good person and a good professional," the Brazilian vouched.

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