The Chennaiyin FC challenge beckons East Bengal FC

East Bengal FC have obtained four points from their last two Hero Indian Super League games. After winning 1-0 against Kerala Blasters FC last week, they drew 3-3 with NorthEast United FC at home on Wednesday (February 8).

The Red & Gold brigade will now take on Chennaiyin FC in their eighteenth Hero ISL 2022-23 fixture and ninth away game at Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on February 12, Sunday.

In the six-goal thriller against the Highlanders, EBFC captain Cleiton Silva scored a brace, while their latest foreign recruit Jake Jervis bagged his maiden Hero ISL goal via a breathtaking overhead kick on the cusp of half-time.

With the goal, Cleiton took his goalscoring tally to twelve, the highest this season. He is now at par with Ranti Martins as far as scoring the most no. of goals in a single season of India’s top-flight league since the 2015/16 season is concerned.

EBFC currently occupy the ninth spot in the league table with 16 points from 17 games (5 wins, 1 draw and 11 defeats). Chennaiyin FC, meanwhile, have been winless in their last 8 matches and are placed eighth with 18 points from 17 games (4 wins, 6 draws and 7 defeats).

The Marina Machans will head into Sunday’s encounter on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Kerala Blasters FC, where their top scorer this season Abdenasser El Khayati was on the scoresheet.

EBFC’s Mobashir Rahman and VP Suhair, who served a one-match suspension, will be available for selection on Sunday. On the other hand, midfielder Alex Lima will miss the contest due to four yellow cards.

Coming to the head-to-head record , the two sides have faced each other five times so far, with four games ending in draws and Chennaiyin FC winning once. In their last meeting at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan earlier in the season, CFC won 1-0, courtesy Vafa Hakhamaneshi’s 69 th minute strike.

Addressing the media at the pre-match Press Conference, EBFC Head Coach Stephen Constantine said, “Right now all I am thinking about is the game against Chennaiyin FC. They are a good side. They haven’t won their last eight games, so they will be equally motivated to win the game. I am more concerned about what we do than what they do.”

Jervis, who accompanied Constantine for the Press Conference, spoke about his maiden Hero ISL goal and East Bengal ambitions – “It’s good to make an impact in a new country. That’s what I have been brought here to do. We have a few games left this season. I want to influence things and help East Bengal win more games going forward.”