East Bengal FC aim to continue winning momentum at home against NorthEast United FC

After claiming their maiden victory over Kerala Blasters FC at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan last Friday (February 3), via Cleiton Silva’s 77 th minute goal, East Bengal FC will now look to complete a double against NorthEast United in their penultimate home fixture this season on Wednesday, February 8.

The last time the two sides met, at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on 20 th October 2022 , the Red & Golds registered their maiden win over the Highlanders, winning the contest 3-1, courtesy goals from Cleiton, Charalambos Kyriacou and Jordan O’Doherty.

While EBFC currently occupy the ninth spot in the league table with 15 points from 16 outings (5 wins and 11 defeats), NorthEast United are rooted to the bottom with 4 points from 17 matches (1 win, 1 draw and 15 losses).

The Red & Gold brigade will miss the services of Mobashir Rahman and VP Suhair who will serve a one-match suspension each. While Mobashir got a double yellow and received his marching orders in the closing stages of the last game, Suhair currently has 7 yellow cards to his name.

The Highlanders, meanwhile, will go into the game on the back of a 0-2 defeat to Jamshedpur FC in their last game. Their skipper Wilmar Jordan will be unavailable for the match as he serves his suspension.

As far as the head-to-head record is concerned, the two teams have faced each other five times so far, with EBFC winning one, drawing one and losing three of these encounters.

Addressing the media at the pre-match press conference, EBFC Head Coach Stephen Constantine said, “I don’t judge teams on paper. I judge them on the field. I think NorthEast United have improved in recent weeks. They have brought in some new players. I don’t judge a team based on where they are in the table. All the games in the ISL are difficult. We have to be completely focused and play the football that we played last week. They are not coming here to lose. They will fight.”

Fullback Mohamad Rakip, who came in as a substitute for Ankit Mukherjee and put up a good showing in the last game, said, “The win over Kerala Blasters has boosted my confidence. I will try my best to carry this confidence into the remainder of the season. I will give my best whenever I get a chance, and try to finish the season on a positive note with the Super Cup.”