The Kolkata outfit are yet to score a goal in the 2012 AFC Cup as they gear up to host the Iraqi side in their third match of the group phase...
Nirmal, Gurwinder, Okpara, Khabra;
Vashum, Mehtab, Penn, Sanju;
Hafidh, Khalaf, Ayad;
Kareem, Sabagh, Abdulwahid, Abdulameer;
Sabah, Obode, Al-Janabi
East Bengal might not yet have managed a point or even scored a goal for that matter, but they had an impressive outing against Al Arouba in their first group game, which they were perhaps a touch unlucky to lose by a solitary goal while playing at home before being outclassed 3-0 by Kuwati side Kazma.
The home side's strike pair of Tolgay Ozbey and Robin Singh have lately borne fruits in the I-League and will be hoping to break their barren run in front of goal in the AFC Cup when they take on Arbil SC of Iraq.
On the other hand, Arbil SC coach Nizar Mahrous is known to play three players upfront which might force a tactical re-shuffle for his English counter-part Trevor Morgan when he selects a backline strong enough to withstand the pressure.
Arbil SC has drawn both their previous matches of the campaign against Kazma of Kuwait (1-1) and Al Orouba of Yemen (2-2).
Mahrous, who will be without the services of striker Luay Salah and defender Saad Atiah due to injury, stressed on how important it is for them to win this tie to brighten up their chances to qualify for the next round. East Bengal meanwhile need a win to stay alive in the competition.
|| DID YOU KNOW?
- East Bengal has not gone past the Group Stage of the AFC Cup competition since the year 2004.
- Both East Bengal (2004) and Arbil SC (2009) have managed to reach the Quarter-Final stage of the AFC Cup once.
- Although the club is known as Arbil Sports Club, the emblem reads "Erbil Sports Club."
- Besides being the first team from Iraq to qualify for the Asian Champions League, Arbil SC was also the first in the country to recruit foreign players.
- Arbil SC's Syrian coach Nizar Mahrous is the first foreigner to manage the team in the last eight years.
- This is also the first time Arbil SC are facing a club from India and Mahrous' only experience of Indian football was representing Syria in the 1986 Jawaharlal Nehru Cup at Thiruvananthapuram.
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