East Bengal - Selangor FA Preview: Can Irfan Bakti's side overcome the Kolkata giants?

Trevor Morgan's side play hosts to the Malaysian outfit in the Group H opener of the AFC Cup competition on Wednesday afternoon...
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

EAST BENGAL (4-3-1-2)

Abhijit;
Naoba, Okpara, Gaikwad, Saumik;
Khabra, Mehtab, Ishfaq;
Penn;
Barisic, Chidi
SELANGOR FA (4-4-2)

NRazali;
Mahali, Nasriq, Dayoub, Asraruddin;
K. Soley, Veenod, Jusoh, S. Kunanlan;
Forkey, Azmi

East Bengal are entering the match having hit a run of good form in both the Kolkata League as well as the I-League, leading the pack in both competitions.

The Federation Cup champions will hence be looking to extend their fine run in the year 2013 as they face Selangor FA after 41 years.

Penn Orji will be one of the tricky customers for the visitors, while the combination of Edeh Chidi and Andrew Barisic, if not kept in check, could spell disaster for Selangor. Arnab Mondal's absence in the central defense could however add responsibility for Uga Okpara as Raju Gaikwad isn't one of the Red and Gold's most experienced campaigners.

Selangor skipper Mohammed Asraruddin alongside Lebanese defender Ramez Dayoub would meanwhile be expected to resist the East Bengal strike-force, while striker Francis Forkey Doe is known to be deadly upfront.

Dependency on Forkey could however prove to be a weakness for the Red Giants who were unable to find the net with the Liberian national unavailable in their last match agaisnt PKNS FC.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Mohammed Asraruddin of Selangor
    This is East Bengal's fourth consecutive venture (seventh overall) in the AFC Cup and this year they have qualified by becoming champions of Federation Cup.
  • East Bengal holds the unique record of being the first Indian club to reach the quarter-finals (knockout stage) in their maiden appearance in the AFC Cup in 2004.
  • In 2008, East Bengal became the first Indian side to win against a Middle-Eastern team at home when they defeated Al Wheedat of Jordan 2-0 at Amman.
  • Selangor have a perfect home record so far this season with victories over Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Pahang in the league, and over ATM in the FA Cup (on penalties).
  • Selangor's best performance in an AFC competition was in 1967 where they came second in the Asian Club Championship.
  • East Bengal and Selangor have met once before, in the 1972 IFA Shield in Kolkata wherein the Indian outfit emerged winners by a margin of 2-0.

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