East Bengal look to start their AFC Cup campaign at home against Yemeni Champions Al Orouba in a Group B encounter...
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East Bengal are currently battling it out on two fronts given that they are also playing in the IFA Shield. However with the importance of the AFC Cup, East Bengal will certainly look to come out with their strongest squad.
East Bengal are up against Yemeni champions and Super Cup winners Al Orouba at the Salt Lake Stadium, as they begin their journey in the AFC Cup. The other teams in Group B besides these two are Kazma from Kuwait and Arbil from Iraq.
With striker Robin Singh in fine nick after his brace against Bhawanipore in the IFA Shield encounter, he should start upfront alongside the ever dependable Tolgay Ozbey who is also the top scorer for the club. With Penn Orji providing creativity in midfield and Mehtab shielding the back four, East Bengal look strong contenders especially with home advantage.
The Yemeni champions though will surely come out all guns blazing in their first appearance in the AFC Cup. Prolific goal getter Abdullelah Sharyan shall definitely provide the cutting edge upfront. The Yemeni outfit will be captained by their veteran 40 year old goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulkhalek.
|| DID YOU KNOW?
- This will be Al Orouba's first appearance in the AFC Cup.
- East Bengal's appearance in the 2012 AFC Cup will be their 6th.
- East Bengal have qualified to appear in the continental competition as they are last year's I-League runners up (Salgaocar are I-League champions as well as Federation Cup winners)
- Al Orouba club was incredibly founded only in 2008 and just after 2 years, they bagged their first league win in 2010-11 season.
- East Bengal's best performance in the AFC Cup has been when they finished as losing quarter finalists in 2004 against Al-Jaish of Damascus.
- East Bengal will be missing Nirmal Chettri and Raju Gaikwad who are away on Challenge Cup duty with the Indian team.
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