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Xuan Thanh - East Bengal Preview: Can the Red and Gold come out victorious in Vietnam?
Trevor Morgan's team travel to Vietnam for the AFC Cup match against Xuan Thanh Sai Gon and will look to add to their opening day scalp against Selangor FA...
By Atanu Mitra
XUAN THANH (4-4-2)
Giang, Hai Anh, Dinh Luat, Phuong Nam;
Cuong, Rogerio, Oloya, Ngoc Anh;
EAST BENGAL (4-3-1-2)
Soumik, Okpara, Raju, Naoba;
Mehtab, Khabra, Ralte;
After notching up an impressive win in their first AFC Cup group H match against the Selangor FC, the in-form East Bengal side will now face Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC in their second match. But this will not be an easy fixture on offering for the Red and Gold as their Vietnam based opponents have also won their first match of the competition.
East Bengal is going through a great season and despite stumbling a bit in the midway, they are now back on track again, managing an ongoing unbeaten streak of 13 matches now. The team is leading the charts in the ongoing I-League.
Their strength has been their well-organized defense and midfield, which the side has reaped harvest of. They had managed 9 clean sheets in their first 10 I-League matches and conceded only one goal. Till now, they are the outfit to concede the least number of goals in the league. The midfield has been brilliant from the start of the season. Mehtab Hussain has been outstanding in his role of a defensive midfielder, snatching and passing the ball with elegance. Though Penn Orji has been patchy at times, he has created havoc in the opponent defense with his down the middle runs and dribbling through the wings.
The strike force remains the only concern of Trevor James Morgan, as the Indian duo of Robin Singh and Manandeep Singh have failed to prove their mettle despite getting several chances. Chidi Edeh has been exceptional in his first season at the Kolkata club and has found the net whenever his team was in dire need of goals. He will be paired up with Andrew Barisic upfront. The latter one, a recent recruit is slowly getting accustomed to the team’s style of playing and gaining form with every appearance. East Bengal will take the opportunity of fielding all their 4 foreigners in the clash.
Talking of Xuan Thanh FC, the team has a strong financial backing and has attracted a number of good players in the recent past. Their squad consists of 6 members from the Vietnam National team.
The team has a strong back-line as the likes of Long Giang and Dinh Luat have been in good touch recently. Rogerio, the naturalized footballer from Brazil will bear the responsibility of providing the midfield with stability as the team largely depends upon the commanding nature of the playmaker. Christian Amougou is the main threat for the Red and Gold defense, as the talismanic striker has scored a brace in the team’s AFC Cup win against Tampines Rovers and was also the top scorer for the side last season with 14 goals. Another remarkable presence is that of the Vietnam international Bui Tan Truong.
East Bengal :- East Bengal will miss the service of their regular midfielder Ishfaq Ahmed, who is still serving a ban from the last year’s AFC Cup when he had appeared for Salgaocar. Cavin Lobo is injured and has not travelled with the team. But the most important absence will be that of Arnab Mondal, who was an integral part of the rock solid defense of the Kolkata Giants. It has to be seen how Raju Gaikwad can pair up with the experienced Uga Okpara at the heart of the defense.
Xuan Thanh FC :- They will be lined up in their regular 4-4-2 formation with Amougou and Ameka upfront. It is not expected that they will shuffle their cards as they have been in good form lately.
|DID YOU KNOW
- This is the first time the home team is participating in the AFC Cup.
- East Bengal’s best performance in the AFC Cup came in 2004 when they reached the quarter-finals before losing to Syria’s Al Jaish 3-0 on aggregate.
- Both the teams have won their first match in the tournament and have the same goal difference (+1). However, Xuan Thanh FC is on the top because they have scored more goals.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 0-2 East Bengal F.C.
- 19.54 %
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 0-1 East Bengal F.C.
- 18.39 %
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1-2 East Bengal F.C.
- 12.64 %
|AFC Cup (AC)||30-Apr-2013||East Bengal F.C. 4 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1|
|AFC Cup (AC)||13-Mar-2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 0 - East Bengal F.C. 0|
|Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC|
|10-May-2013||The Vissai Ninh Bình FC 3 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 3||V-L|
|05-May-2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 2 - Thanh Hoa 1||V-L|
|30-Apr-2013||East Bengal F.C. 4 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1||AC|
|23-Apr-2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 2 - Tampines Rovers FC 2||AC|
|19-Apr-2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1 - Dong Nai FC 3||V-L|
|-||Tan Truong Bui||Goalkeeper|
|-||Hai Anh Le||Defender|
|-||Phan Luu The Son||Defender|
|-||Long Giang Nguyen Thanh||Defender|
|-||Dinh Luat Truong||Defender|
|27||Phan Do Nhat Tan||Striker|
|-||Trong Phi Nguyen||Striker|
|-||Duc Linh Nguyen||Midfielder|
|-||Christian José Nsi Amougou||Striker|
|-||Emeka Ndubuisi Oguwike||Striker|
|-||Minh Nhut Nguyen||Goalkeeper|
|-||Phuong Nam Ngo||Defender|
|-||Trong Phu Hoang||Midfielder|
|-||Nhu Quang Le Vo||Midfielder|
|-||Pham Quang Chi||Midfielder|
|-||Dinh Vu Han Phong||Defender|
|26||Pham Thua Chi||Defender|
|30||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu||Goalkeeper|
|18||Penn Ikechukwu Orji||Midfielder|
|8||Thokchom Naoba Singh||Defender|