FC Goa are aiming to build on their first win after four games in the league against an East Bengal team without one in the last three.
The Gaurs claimed a much-needed 3-1 victory against Kerala Blasters on Sunday while the Torch Bearers fell to another defeat in a 2-0 loss to Hyderabad FC.
FCG vs EBFC Match Details
Date: Thursday, 26 January 2023
Time: 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Fatorda Stadium, Fatorda
FCG vs EBFC Match Preview
Iker Guarrotxena from the spot, Noah Sadaoui and then Redeem Tlang rounded off a victory that was badly required in the camp for FC Goa after not registering three points on the board since December last year. The Gaurs carried a huge risk of shifting away from the playoff spot if results went downhill again but they managed to turn it over. Goa hit all the right notes in the game and although the wait for a clean sheet goes on, a lot of positives could be taken from the match. The forward line shone at the right time with substitutes also impacting at a given moment. With this win, they now carry a four points cushion sitting in fifth with the chance to go up to third with another positive result. The Gaurs will be hoping to carry on the momentum against a struggling East Bengal team before they face Odisha in an important game for supremacy over playoff places early next month. League leaders Mumbai City and then the two closest playoff challengers in Chennaiyin Fc and Bengaluru FC to compete against in the remaining games of the league phase. Hence, FC Goa have to be careful with the schedule ahead to ensure their stay in the playoff spot.
East Bengal are facing the heat of another underwhelming campaign in the ISL which is compounded by their off-field issues again. The club is unable to lift the transfer ban in time because of the delay in paying the wanted amount to Omid Singh and has hence failed to sign players in the January transfer window. The only recruited player before the ban was imposed, Jake Jervis is also not registered as a case. The fans too showed their frustration in calling out for the sack of coach Stephen Constantine in the team’s training. Losing three games on the trot have basically put East Bengal out of any talk for the playoffs. The 2-0 loss to Hyderabad FC saw the Red and Gold only one shot on target in another disappointing performance. With only 12 points gathered from 14 matches and just four wins to their name, the Torch Bearers are running out of ideas for the third season running. In the next six games, they will face only one non-playoff team in NorthEast United. It all starts with FC Goa whom they have only beaten once in five meetings so far. The defeats in those clashes have been narrow but nothing other than a win will save East Bengal here.
FCG vs EBFC Team News
FC Goa have roped in ex-Mumbai City FC center-back Hernan Santana for the rest of the season. He has come in to replace Marc Valiente who has picked up an injury that will keep him out for the most part of the season. He will be a backup to the Arnaout-Ali partnership in the defense and is also a versatile option in midfield. The Gaur has also called back Lenny Rodrigues while Glen Martins rejoins ATK Mohun Bagan. Both of the new signings will be options from the bench in this clash.
Meanwhile, East Bengal were able to recall Kamaljit Singh as the number one in the last game against Hyderabad FC after the goalkeeper missed a month’s action due to injury and lost his place to second-choice keeper Suvam Sen. The transfer ban still persisting means the club are not able to include new signing Jake Jervis. Hence, it will be the same attacking duo of Cleiton Silva and Alex Lima starting up front.
FCG vs EBFC Predicted Lineups
FCG: Dheeraj Singh; Aibanbha Dohling, Fares Arnaout, Anwar Ali, Sanson Perreira; Ayush Chhetri, Edu Bedia; Devendra Murgaokar, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadaoui; Iker Guarrotxena
EBFC: Kamaljit Singh; Mohammad Rakip, Charalampos Kyriakou, Lalchungnunga, Sarthak Golui; Suhair VP, Jordan O’Doherty, Mobashir Rahman, Naorem Mahesh; Alex Lima, Cleiton Silva
FCG vs EBFC Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Dheeraj (7.5)
DEF: Kyriakou (7.5), Anwar (8.5), Arnaout (7.5)
MID: Mahesh (9), Lima (8.5), Guarrotxena (8.5), Bedia (9), B Fernandes (8)
FW: Sadaoui (9), Silva (9)
Vice-captain: Edu Bedia
Captain: Noah Sadaoui
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