Tampines Rovers vs East Bengal Preview: Stags seek first win
The defending S.League champions will hope to notch their first three points in their third AFC Cup game, having only garnered one from their opening two matches
TAMPINES ROVERS (4-1-3-2)
Imran - Jufri - Yamashita - Shaiful
Ismadi - Shahdan (C) - Firdaus
EAST BENGAL (4-1-3-2)
Naoba - Uga - Gurwinder - Saumik
Sanju Pradhan (C)
Harmanjot - Penn - Ishfaq
Chidi - Barisic
Tampines Rovers will welcome India’s East Bengal at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday as they look to secure their first victory in the AFC Cup, having only picked up one point from their first two matches.
Although coach Nenad Bacina has enjoyed an impressive start to the S.League - the defending champions have won their first six matches - the Stags tend to leave it late in the game to secure victory, which is often achieved by a slender margin.
Marquee player Martin Wagner, a defensive midfielder, has yet to start most of their league games, with Bacina preferring more attacking options in the form of Ismadi Mukhtar and Shahdan Sulaiman. However, the Argentine looks set to deputise for skipper Mustafic Fahrudin, who is suspended for this match.
Upfront, the home side will rely on Sead Hadzibulic and former LionsXII striker Khairul Amri for goals, with 42-year-old ex-Singapore international Aleksandar Duric ready to enter the game if required.
As for Red and Gold coach Trevor Morgan, he has left first-choice custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in India after the Under-23 international made an obscene gesture towards the fans during their last league match against Prayag United.
The visitors will rely heavily on their Nigerian duo of Penn Orji and Chidi Edeh for inspiration in the attacking third. Orji is a creative playmaker and their dangerman, while Edeh has been shouldering most of the attacking responsibility of the side, scoring 16 goals in the league this season.
It will be a tight contest between the two teams, as East Bengal appear to have a very disciplined and compact defence - they have conceded only 14 times in 22 league matches - and they will be keen to add to their tally of four points.
Both teams will likely employ similar 4-1-3-2 formations, but Tampines prefer to focus their attacks via the flanks while East Bengal will go for Route One football down the middle as they play long balls deep from their own half.
Securing three points here would help to kickstart Tampines' AFC Cup campaign, so expect them to come out of the blocks fast in what should be a intriguing clash.
Top 3 Predictions
Tampines Rovers FC 0-2 East Bengal F.C.
- 20.83 %
Tampines Rovers FC 0-1 East Bengal F.C.
- 20.83 %
Tampines Rovers FC 1-2 East Bengal F.C.
- 16.67 %
|AFC Cup (AC)||09-Apr-2013||East Bengal F.C. 2 - Tampines Rovers FC 1|
|AFC Cup (AC)||03-Apr-2013||Tampines Rovers FC 2 - East Bengal F.C. 4|
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