SC East Bengal face Mumbai City FC in their second match in the Hero ISL today, in Goa. Considering their derby loss to ATK Mohun Bagan in their first outing as an ISL Club, the pressure will be on the boys in Red and Yellow to secure their first victory against Mumbai.
Mumbai themselves have also endured a shaky start to the campaign, losing to NorthEast United in their first match, before returning to winning ways as they dispatched FC Goa in a narrow 1-0 defeat.
The Cityzens will go into the match with a slight advantage, considering that this will be their third time taking the pitch in Goa. However, their squad was quite heavily rotated in their outing against FC Goa. It is safe to say that the Islanders are also slowly experimenting and finding their footing in the league.
As for East Bengal, their debut match against ATK Mohun Bagan was a promising display in midfield. They managed to pass the ball to the final third quite efficiently with the likes of Steinmann and Maghoma moving the ball around crisply, as well as with accuracy.
On two extremes, though, there is plenty of work to be done. The newcomers were quite risky in playing out from the back and often lost the ball unnecessarily. The debutants were not very composed at the back and were often casual as well.
From the attacking side of things, the final ball needed more weight and confidence. Balwant Singh’s finishing left a lot to be desired, and it would fare Robbie Fowler better to start the experienced Jeje Lalpekhlua instead.
While the match will be evenly contested for sure, it is likely that Fowler will be able to get his first victory as manager of East Bengal against Mumbai City FC today. However, it won’t come easy.