With the 2020-21 season of the ISL already underway, India’s top flight football league is set welcome a new club. It is one of Kolkata’s biggest football club – SC East Bengal. Their arrival in the ISL seemed imminent after their long time cross town rivals, Mohun Bagan announced their merger with 3 time ISL champions, Atletico de Kolkata.
Talking about rivalry, SC East Bengal surely couldn’t have asked for a more dramatic debut than this. They kick off their campaign in what is deemed as Asia’s most fierce rivalry, the Bengal derby.
Ahead of their ISL campaign, SC East Bengal have made plenty of changes to their club as a whole. While they did successfully manage to get in a new investor in Shree Cements, they also roped in Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler as their manager ahead of the new season. Furthermore, they have also made plenty of astute signings in Steinmann, Pilkington, Maghoma and Jeje.
Similar to their cross town rivals, SC East Bengal are expected to start in a back 3 system as well. This was a system used quite often by Robbie Fowler when he coached Brisbane Roar. Moreover, they also have the player profiles to fit into this system.
While it could be a gamble to play Jeje from the start as it would be his first game after injury, they do not have much options in the spearhead of their attack.
They might as well opt for an extra midfielder instead of Jeje if required . Consequently, that would mean that Maghoma and Pilkington will play as the two centre forwards in a 3-5-2 formation.
Robbie Fowler also might consider bringing on the young Gopi Singh at some point in the match after he scored in their preseason friendly against Kerala Blasters. Moreover, he also might opt for Ambekar in the left wing back position instead of Narayan Das.
Asia’s fiercest rivalry will make its ISL debut tonight along with SC East Bengal. With both teams boasting good firepower in their lineup, it will be a fascinating encounter to watch.