Kingfisher East Bengal
Balestier Khalsa FC
Yuba Bharati Krirangan ,Kolkata
24th April 2015, 18:00IST
The fourth round of games in the 2015 AFC Cup sees Indian Football Giants Kingfisher East Bengal play hosts to Singapore based football club Balestier Khalsa FC.Kingfisher East Bengal are last in group F, having only won one point from a possible nine.Balestier Khalsa FC are just above Kingfisher East Bengal in the table having won only match, the reverse fixture against Tuesday’s opponents.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Kingfisher East Bengal
Kingfisher East Bengal have managed a single point in the current campaign in the AFC Cup and with qualification to the Knockout stages almost out of hand, Kingfisher East Bengal will be playing for pride against the Singapore based outfit.
Veteran goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal will certainly be dropped after his horrible performance in Pune , with Subhasish Roy Chowdhury set to take his place.R. Lalthlamuana and Deepak Mondal will start for Schattorie’s men in left and right back respectively with Arnab Mondal and Milan Susak pairing each other in the centre of defence.There have been concerns growing in the East Bengal camp about the Defensive Partnership of Arnab Mondal and Milan Susak , but with no more options coach Eelco Schattorie will have to rely on the two of them in Central Defence.
Mehtab Hossain will take his place in the centre of midfield with Cavin Lobo partnering him in the centre,Khabra will take up his place at right midfield with Saumik Dey taking up Left Midfield.Saumik Dey has been used on multiple occassions in Left Midfield, with the defender earning plaudits for his performance as a makeshift midfielder.As always Mehtab will be the Fulcrum of the team, looking to dictate the pace of the game from deep midfield.Cavin Lobo will be the engine in midfield , working tirelessly for the team and looking to press opposition attackers.
Coach Eelco Schattorie is expected to pair up Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbeni upfront and both being in fine goal scoring form will have heavy expectations on them.Dudu scored in the reverse fixture played at the Jalan Besar stadium in Singapore ,Dudu and Ranti were also on the scoresheet when the club faced Pune FC on Saturday and the fans will be praying they can emaluate this kind of form in Tuesday’s fixtures.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3) Subhashish Roy Chowdhury , Arnab Mandal, Milan Susak,R. Lalthlamuana , Deepak Mondal, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab Hossain, Cavin Lobo, Saumik Dey, Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbeni.
Balestier Khalsa FC
Balestier Khalsa FC have only won a single match out of the three matches they have played , the single win coming against Tuesday’s opponents East Bengal , who they defeated 2-1 in Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore courtesy strikes from J.Xu Weihua and M. KriA?ti . Balestier Khalsa are currently sixth in the S-League and will certainly be hoping that their domestic league form don’t follow them into the AFC Cup.
German coach Marko Kraljevi will be expected to opting to name the same starting lineup that defeated the hosts in the reverse fixtures 3 weeks back. Zaiful Nizam is expected to start under the bars with Croat I.Cerina and J.Xu Weihua expected to start in central defence with Yusiskandar Yusop and Nurullah Hussein taking up the right and left back positions respectively.
Serbian Emir Lotinac will be starting in his usual position at Defensive Midfield,with four players lining up infront of him as a 4 man midfield which will consist of Xu Weihua,
Ignatius Ang Yu Heng, Muhammad Fadhil Bin Noh and Poh Yi Feng.
Coach Marko Kraljevi will start Croatian attacker Miroslav Kristic up front , the forward has been in form in the S-League scoring three goals in five matches for the Singapore based outfit and Balestier Khalsa FC will hope the striker can continue his goalscoring form when the two sides meet at the Yubhabharati Krirangan Stadium in Salt Lake , Kolkata.
Probable Starting XI (4-1-4-1) : Zaiful Nizam, I.Cerina, J.Xu Weihua, Yusiskandar Yusop, Nurullah Hussein, Emir Lotinac, Xu Weihua, Ignatius Ang Yu Heng, Muhammad Fadhil Bin Noh, Poh Yi Feng and Miroslav Kristic.
Ranti Martins (Kingfisher East Bengal)
The Nigerian striker has been in fine goalscoring form and is the top scorer of the I-League with and astonishing 13 goals.The Nigerian is in fine form and has to be in his peak if Kingfisher East Bengal have any chance of upsetting the S-League team.
Miroslav Kristic (Balestier Khalsa FC)
The Croatian Forward has been in fine goalscoring form in the S-League this season and even though Balestier Khalsa FC have struggled this season in the S-League , Kristic has been the shining light in their campaign .Having already scored in the reverse fixture, Kingfisher East Bengal will be aware of the Croatian’s threat and will certainly look to nullify his threat however if Balestier Khalsa FC have any hope of progressing t the Knockout stages Kristic will have to be in top form .
Kingfisher East Bengal 2-1 Balestier Khalsa FC
Kingfisher East Bengal having the Home advantage will have an edge over their opponents on Tuesday and while slowly the Kolkata based cluba re returning to form having won the last two matches in the I-League , the club have are on a little roll and will be ghoping they can carry this form into the AFC Cup. Balestier Khalsa FC however will play to get all three points to have a chance of qualifying to the Knock out stages of the AFC Cup and they will leave no stone unturned to ensure that they put up a fight infront of a full house Salt lake Stadium. THEHARDTACKLE predicts a hard fought home victory for Kingfisher East Bengal