Date: 27 February, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: GMC Stadium, Bambolim
Live Commentary: SportsTiger App
Odisha and East Bengal play their final game of what has been a forgetful season in the Indian Super League on Saturday. Both teams struggled to climb out of the bottom half of the table throughout the season and were never realistically involved in the race for the playoffs.
As such, there is only pride at stake for bottom-placed Odisha and ninth-placed East Bengal ahead of the meeting in Bambolim. Who will sign off with a win? Only time will tell.
Captain Steven Taylor was forced off due to an injury in the last game and remains doubtful for the game. Mohammad Sajid Dhot or Shubham Sarangi could feature in defence to cope with his absence.
Cole Alexander was absent from the squad in the last outing owing to an injury. It remains to be seen whether the midfielder recovers in time to return to the fold.
Raju Gaikwad is suspended after being sent off in the last game. However, captain Daniel Fox should return from his suspension for accumulation of yellow cards to fill the gap in defence.
The likes of Anthony Pilkington, Bright Enobakhare and Jacques Maghoma missed the last game, but East Bengal could recall them for their final outing.
Odisha have mustered just a solitary win all season and are confirmed to remain rooted to the bottom of the table. The Kalinga Warriors’ project under Stuart Baxter looked promising before the start of the campaign, but it did not take off at any stage.
If they are unable to win against East Bengal, Odisha will set a new record for fewest wins (1) in a season. The 4-2 triumph over Kerala had come very late for them and it did not act as a springboard either to try and climb out of the bottom. Interim coach Steven Dias will be hoping he can provide some light at the end of the tunnel with a consolatory win.
East Bengal have also underperformed this term. However, the Kolkata giants have some leeway considering their issues with recruitment and late entry into the top-flight. In many ways, this could still be considered honeymoon period for Robbie Fowler and his coaching staff.
With Fowler set to return to the touchline after his ban, the players will be keen to put on a show. It goes without saying that there will be a rebuild at the club so essentially everyone is on audition to retain their contracts. That particular fact should act as enough motivation for East Bengal to try and complete the double over Odisha.
It is imperative to check the official line-ups on Saturday before adding the final touches to your fantasy XI. Both teams might decide to test out some of their fringe players.
Probable Playing XI
Arshdeep Singh (GK); Shubham Sarangi, Mohd Sajid Dhot, Jacob Tratt, Rakesh Pradhan, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai, Cole Alexander, Brad Inman, Manuel Onwu, Diego Mauricio
Subrata Paul/Debjit Majumder (GK); Ankit Mukherjee, Daniel Fox, Sarthak Golui, Narayan Das, Matti Steinmann, Ajay Chhetri, Surchandra Singh, Bright Enobakhare, Jacques Maghoma, Anthony Pilkington
Goalkeepers: Arshdeep, Debjit
Defenders: Pradhan, Golui, Fox, Tratt
Midfielders: Jerry, Steinmann, Pilkington, Inman, Maghoma
Forwards: Mauricio, Onwu, Enobakhare
Disclaimer: The fantasy tips and facts expressed within this article are personal opinion of the author. They do not reflect the views of SportsTiger. It is not a reflection of the actual points you might earn. SportsTiger does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.