East Bengal take on George Telegraph in their seventh match of the 2018 Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division ‘A’ on Wednesday at the East Bengal ground.
The Red and Golds will try to make use of this match as a confidence-booster ahead of the grand Kolkata Derby on September 2.
East Bengal are currently at the top of the league table with 16 points from six matches, same as that of their rivals Mohun Bagan but Bhowmick's men are ahead on goal difference. Quite notably, they have kept clean sheets in all the six matches so far in CFL.
The team needed a penalty goal to clinch three points in their last match against NBP Rainbow AC. Their performance too was not up to the mark. The fluidity in the game was lacking and they failed to create enough goal scoring opportunities.
Speaking about the lacklustre affair, technical director Subhash Bhowmick said, “We played very bad football last game. This was possibly the worst match of my coaching career.”
Bhowmick also mentioned that the team will miss three crucial first-team players in Samad Ali Mallick, Lalram Chullova and Kamalpreet Singh due to suspension and injuries. Koushik Sarkar, Manoj Mohammed and Prakash Sarkar are likely to fill in.
Laldanmawia Ralte, who had missed the match against Rainbow due to an injury, is fit now and is expected to start in place of Surabuddin Mallick on the right flank.
Costa Rican defender Johnny Acosta will have to wait to make his debut for East Bengal. According to a senior club official, East Bengal have already sent the transfer fee and are now waiting for the player’s international transfer certificate (ITC) from the Colombian Football Federation.
East Bengal predicted XI: Rakshit Dagar; Mehtab Singh, Koushik Sarkar, Kinshuk Debnath, Manoj Mohammed; Prakash Sarkar, Kassim Aidara; Laldanmawia Ralte, Mahmoud Al Amna, Brandon Vanlalremdika; Joby Justin.