I-League 2017: East Bengal vs Minerva Punjab Preview: Bruised Red and Golds looking to bounce back under new management

It has been a whirlwind last couple of weeks for East Bengal and almost none of that has been good for one of the most successful clubs in Indian football.

They have crashed out of the title chase, lost their manager and then subsequently lost his replacement too due to injury.

In this turbulent time they host Minerva Punjab at the Barasat Stadium under assistant manager Ranjan Chowdhury in a desperate bit to reclaim lost pride.

After Trevor Morgan's resignation and a knee injury suffered by his replcament, Mridul Banerjee - the former Mohammedan SC and Bengal coach is the one who will be barking order from the sidelines.

Wedson Anselme will look to start and Minerva should be able to recollect his hat-trick in the reverse fixture that ended in a 5-0 away victory for the Red and Golds. From the other scorers of the day, Willis Plaza is suspended and Robin Singh looks likely to start from the bench.

Arnab Mondal is expected to start in central defense besides Ivan Bukenya while Rowllin Borges partners Mehtab Hossein in central midfield.

There is little left to play for Minerva Punjab though besides securing a Federation Cup play off.

Unavailable: Arnab Das Sharma


A recent set back includes their owner Ranjit Bajaj slapped with an eight match ban for bad mouthing the referee.

Coach Surinder Singh though has to deal with more important problems including the lack of goals in his side. They too have been in similarly miserable form having lost four of their last six matches.

However in their 0-1 home defeat against Mohun Bagan, they did show plenty of grit and could consider themselves unlucky for not getting a point out of that encounter.

Arshdeep Singh will continue in goal with Arnab Das Sharma having returned home. Kareem Nurain might be pushed upfront with Sang Min-Kim and Loveday Ennyinaya in central defense.

The impressive David Ngaihte too should start with his side desperate for some flair from any position.

With both teams in similar stutters, it will be an interesting watch to see who can get out of the slump and at who's expense.

Kickoff is at 4.30 PM on Sunday,

PREDICTED LINE-UPS:

East Bengal XI

TEAM NEWS

EAST BENGAL FC:

Injured : None

Doubtful : None

Suspended : Willis Plaza

Key Player : Wedson Anselme


MINERVA PUNJAB AC:

Injured:


Unavailable: Arnab Das Sharma

Suspended: None

Key Player: Kareem Nurain


























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