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Reunions aplenty as Bengaluru FC host East Bengal today

The Indian Super League returns to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium as Bengaluru FC play East Bengal on Wednesday. Last season’s finalists will aim to arrest a slide in form, after starting the season with consecutive defeats.

Granted the two losses came following tough assignments on the road, a 2-1 defeat against Kerala Blasters and a 1-0 defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant, but the performances in both fixtures implied that this is a squad still searching for its best combination and formation.

“We were short on numbers in attack. I think we have the best foreign contingent in the league, but picking four out of six is the hardest decision to make,” coach Grayson said on the eve of the fixture.

The sooner the attacking players build a telepathic understanding, the better for Simon Grayson’s men. While they have been a hard side to break down defensively, individual blunders and lack of attempts on goal have been a recurring theme.

Sunil Chhetri and Rohit Danu’s return will be a shot in the arm, but Suresh Singh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh are suspended after being sent off against MBSG.

Interestingly, Carles Cuadrat, the current head coach of East Bengal, guided BFC to the ISL trophy in 2018-19, while assistant coach Dimas Delgado played an integral role in that run.

East Bengal have looked a side transformed under the Spaniard. Cleiton Silva, another former Blue, scored a brace against Hyderabad FC to help East Bengal to a 2-1 win in their last fixture.

While East Bengal arrive on a cloud of momentum, a scratchy Bengaluru FC will hope to iron out their defensive slip-ups and for their attackers to find form in front of their vocal supporters.

“We know how important and special this place (Kanteerava Stadium) is. The players are excited about playing here and giving our supporters something to cheer about,” Grayson signed off.

(Published 04 October 2023, 03:07 IST)

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