Arbil SC - East Bengal Preview: Can the Indian side overcome the Iraqi challenge?
It's a battle for survival for the Red and Gold while their counterparts are looking to better their chances of moving into the next phase of the competition...
By Anselm Noronha
Hafidh, Khalaf, Bukenya;
Hussein, Sabagh, Ayad, Abdulameer;
Salah, Obode, Al-Janabi
Nirmal, Gurwinder, Okpara, Soumik;
Mehtab, Vashum, Orji, Khabra;
Arbil SC have already beaten East Bengal 2-0 in their last match in India, while they will now be looking to register their second successive win of the campaign in the battle to keep pace with group leaders Kazma Sporting Club.
Meanwhile, it will be a tough task for East Bengal side with the team's assistant coach Ranjan Chaudhury giving out instructions from the sidelines in place of Trevor Morgan who was advised against traveling to Iraq.
Arbil SC coach Nizar Mahrous will be buoyed by the return of striker Luay Salah from injury, while Syrian midfielder Nadim Sabag will also be making his way in for the clash at the Francouse Al Hareeri Stadium.
The Iraqi side's drawbacks will be the unavailability of defender Saad Atiah due to injury, while Mahdi Kareem has been ruled out for Tuesday's tie as the midfielder is reportedly suffering from food poisoning.
Besides being winless in the competition, having lost all three matches so far, East Bengal are also yet to score a goal. On the other hand, like Kazma SC, Arbil SC are undefeated in Group B with five points from three matches.
East Bengal's major blow will however be the absence of Tolgay Ozbey who hasn't traveled with the team due to suspension while Baljit Singh and Edmilson Marques may see their way into the starting lineup.
|| DID YOU KNOW?
- Son of Prime Minister of Kurdistan (Iraq) Mr. Idris Bajrani, who is the Patron of Arbil SC, greeted East Bengal and will be present for the match.
- East Bengal club secretary Kalyan Majumdar revealed that, according to travel advisories issued by the British and Australian governments, Morgan and Ozbey could travel to Iraq only at their own risk.
- Both Arbil Sports Club and East Bengal have finished as runners-up in their country's respective leagues last season.
- East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan acquired his Australian citizenship during his coaching career with Sorrento FC in Perth.
- In the year 2003, East Bengal became the first Indian club to win a continental competition when they lifted the ASEAN Club Championship held at Jakarta.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arbil SC 0-3 East Bengal F.C.
- 18.75 %
Arbil SC 2-1 East Bengal F.C.
- 18.75 %
Arbil SC 0-5 East Bengal F.C.
- 12.5 %
|AFC Cup (AC)||10-Apr-2012||Arbil SC 2 - East Bengal F.C. 0|
|AFC Cup (AC)||04-Apr-2012||East Bengal F.C. 0 - Arbil SC 2|
|04-Sep-2013||Al Najaf 0 - Arbil SC 1||IRQ1|
|31-Aug-2013||Arbil SC 1 - Al-Sinaah 0||IRQ1|
|26-Aug-2013||Arbil SC 3 - Karbalaa 0||IRQ1|
|22-Aug-2013||Al-Shorta 1 - Arbil SC 1||IRQ1|
|18-Aug-2013||Al-Talaba 2 - Arbil SC 2||IRQ1|
|-||Ahmad Ibrahim Khalaf||Defender|
|-||Abdullrazak Al Hussain||Midfielder|
|-||Saad Attiya Hafidh||Defender|
|7||Halkard Mulla Mohammad||Midfielder|
|-||Kinan Al Neama||Midfielder|
|33||Saikata Saha Roy||Defender|