Struggling EB look to turn the tide Vs Pailan Arrows
Kolkata: Title contenders East Bengal will be desperate to return to winning ways when they face minnows Pailan Arrows in their I-League return leg fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
Struggling for a win especially after suffering two defeats on the trot in the local league, third-placed East Bengal (27) cannot afford to relax at this stage as they would look to go all out against the developmental outfit of AIFF.
In the I-League, East Bengal played out a goalless draw in Pune, so it`s a must-win situation for the local heavyweights to remain in the title contention.
That the Arrows played with an overly-defensive strategy in their dull goalless draw in the first half would surely bother coach Trevor Morgan.
"It is tough for any team to break down an opponent who prefers to play defensively. In our previous encounter Pailan looked like they would be satisfied with a point and they achieved it at the end," the Englishman said about their round 10 match, less than a month ago.
East Bengal camp will have a fresh face in Edmilson who returned in red-and-gold colours as a replacement for their Scottish recruit Alan Gow.
But the Brazilian is unlikely to start in the line-up and the coach may bring him in the last 15 minutes.
"It`s not fair to expect too much from him from day one," Morgan said.
The team is set to miss the services of young forward Baljit Singh Sahni who sustained an ankle injury during the practice on Monday as Australian Tolgay Ozbey will spearhead the attack.
East Bengal will also be without Nirmal Chhetri who is injured while Saumik Dey will sit out due to a suspension as they are likely to be replaced by Harmanjot Khabra and Robert Lalthalamuana respectively.
Having played 13 matches, the Arrows on the other hand are yet to register their maiden win.
"We are playing well as a team but are looking for that one moment of extraordinary brilliance which will win us our first match. Luckily we don`t have any injury worries at all," Arrows technical director Sukhwinder Singh said.
He further said they were under pressure against East Bengal in the first-leg and could not attack.
"In our previous encounter against East Bengal, we were under pressure and hence, could not attack. We did not go in with a defensive mindset and even tomorrow we intend to play attacking football."
The Arrows (7) lies one ahead of bottom-placed HAL, Bangalore.