Trevor Morgan's side will look to continue their winning habit as they face the Goan outfit...
Augustin, Luciano, Rahul, Collin;
Gilbert, Randeep, Jacobs, Rocus, Beevan;
Khabra, Arnab, Uga, Robert;
Sanju, Penn, Mehtab, Ralte;
The round 13 match between Salgaocar and East Bengal will be crucial for both teams as they will kickstart their I-League second leg campaign in this match. The two teams would look to build upon their previous result as Salgaocar won its last match 4-0 against Air India while East Bengal came back from a losing streak to beat Pailan Arrows 3-0.
The teams, however are in completely different poles in the league table. East Bengal have 24 points from their 12 matches and are firm on the title hunt. Salgaocar on the other hand have unperformed so far with only 10 points from their 12 matches.
For the Goan side, their transfer strategy has been a problem all throughout as they recruited several players over the summer but tend to release them mid-way through the season. They are themselves to blame for the teams poor run of form this season. From being one of the title favourites after an impressive run at the Federation Cup, their target for the season is to avoid relegation. Though the club management has chosen to blame former coach Karim Bencherifa,under whom they managed to reach the Federation Cup semi-final, much of the onus has to fall on them for their parochial view towards the running of the team.
East Bengal were going through a bad patch after their unbeaten streak was broken by Prayag a few weeks back. After that it was the match against Pailan last weekend which saw East Bengal getting back to their old self.
Sanju Pradhan, the captain, returned from injury to score a brace and play a pivotal role in East Bengal midfield. Robin Singh also found himself on the scoreboard after many a match. A clean sheet without their star defender Uga Okpara only assured that the other regular defender Arnab Mondal was in top form.
However, the away match against Salgaocar has been a tough challenge for the “Red and Gold” side for the last few seasons. Trevor Morgan has never won against Salgaocar in Goa in his two and a half year long reign in East Bengal. They had won their home match in Kolkata on the 27th November 2012 by a solitary Chidi Edeh goal. They will certainly love to repeat the result.
However, David Booth will like to snatch three points from the Kolkata giants to put his team in a safe distance from the relegation zone. A win against the in-form opponent can also boost their morale in the starting match of the second leg.
Salgaocar:- Booth will not probably change much from the starting XI that delivered a solid performance in the Air India match. The team will largely rely on the in-form striker of Milagres Gonsalves.
East Bengal:- Morgan changed the core of the team in the last match and since the changes have clicked, it is expected that the coach will stick to the same starting line-up. Uga Okpara will be back from his 2-match ban in place of young Raju Gaikwad. This will certainly add more depth to the East Bengal defense. One of Manandeep Singh and Robin Singh will have the responsibility to help Chidi Edeh upfront.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- East Bengal have come out second best in their last three meetings with Salgaocar in I-League at Goa.
- Out of the 31 matches in the National League between these teams, East Bengal has won 11, one more than Salgaocar.
- East Bengal has conceded 2 goals in the 10 matches Uga Okpara has started. However, in the 2 matches he was absent, East Bengal conceded same number of goals.
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