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East Bengal vs Punjab FC Preview: A humbled East Bengal looking for full points against a challenging Punjab FC

Resurgent East Bengal Clashes with Determined Punjab FC in ISL Showdown in Kolkata.

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Koushik Biswas
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East Bengal vs Punjab FC Preview: A humbled East Bengal looking for full points against a challenging Punjab FC

Carles Cudarat, the head coach of the East Bengal team in the pre-match press conference ahead of East Bengal vs Punjab FC in ISL 2023-24. Image | Sportz Point

East Bengal FC looking to continue their winning run against Punjab FC in their eight game in Indian Super League 2023-24 season in Kolkata. The red and gold brigade found their mojo back in the last game against Northeast United FC at their home, while after drawing against a strong Bengaluru FC in their last game, Punjab FC will be confident to have their first win of the season. Carles Cuadrat, the East Bengal coach sounded humbled while Staikos Vergetis, Punjab FC coach wants to build on confidence from the last game ahead of the East Bengal vs Punjab FC clash in Kolkata.

East Bengal vs Punjab FC | Match Details and Streaming details

Date: 9th Decemeber, 2023.

Time: 8.00 pm IST.

Venue: VBYK, Kolkata.

Streaming details | The East Bengal vs Punjab FC will be streamed live on Jio Cinema for free. Fans can watch the match on Television across four languages in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 SD & HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam) & DD Bangla (Bengali) are the channels for the fans who wish to see the match on TV.

Also Read: East Bengal vs NorthEast United FC Highlights: East Bengal back to winning ways after a dominating 5-0 victory over the Highlanders

Team News | East Bengal vs Punjab FC

East Bengal FC

Carles Cuadrat's men after the last win against NEUFC have the opportunity to go high up the ladder of the points table. This is by far their best season in ISL history with 8 points in seven games so far. Cuadrat's technical vision has helped the team play with more attacking time. Their 26.5% crosses from open play, which is the best in the league this season, proves their ability to create oppurnity against any team in the tournament.

Players like Mahes Singh and Nandhakumar Sekar have been able to make the run from flanks and provide important opportunities for East Bengal to go for goal. Hence, after their biggest win against NorthEast in the last match, they will surely look to take advantage of a vulnerable Punjab FC defense, again on Saturday.

Injury Update: Harmanjot Khabra, who had sustained an injury against NEUFC will not surely take part in this game and has a partial tear in the ligament, as per coach Carles Cuadrat.

Punjab FC

Punjab FC, the ISL debutants even without a single win this season, have impressed many with their attacking mindset against some big boys of the league. Their three goals in the first-half against Bengaluru FC testimens their attacking ability. Luka Majcen with three goals this season, have been their biggest strength in the attacking lineup, along with players like Juan Mera who have netted once and assisted twice this season so far.

However, their defensive lineup have been a big reason to worry for Staikos Vergetis's team. Their -8 goal difference is a prove to that. Thus, against a team like East Bengal, who had their best game so far in the league in the last game, Punjab FC surely have to be strong and compact in defense to have their first win of the season.

Who said what | East Bengal vs Punjab FC

"We have a lots of faith in the sqaud. We are very humbled. We understand that we have achieved nothing, just a victory at home. When you come from not wining any in four games, of course one win will not put you in the sky. We are conscious that we have to keep doing the work," East Bengal head coach Carles Cuadrat said in the press conference.

"Tomorrow we will have another opportunity in front of our supporters to show that we are a competitive team and will try to fight for the points," he added.

Talking about Harmanjot Khabra's injury he said: "We are trying to figure out that (the injury). He has some problems in the ligament but it's partial. We are talking with doctors to find the best solution."

Mohammed Rakip in the pre-match press conference ahead of the East Bengal vs Punjab FC match in ISL  Image | Sportz Point
Mohammed Rakip in the pre-match press conference ahead of the East Bengal vs Punjab FC match in ISL Image | Sportz Point

Mohammed Rakip, who looks like to be the player to replace Khabra in the team said: "I am very happy with the game time I have got. I want to thank the coach for believing in me and giving me opportunity. It gives me extra energy to show something what I have. If I get chance I will try to help the team to have a positive result."

Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis and defender Suresh Meitei attended the pre-match press conference in Kolkata  Image | Sportz Point
Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis and defender Suresh Meitei attended the pre-match press conference in Kolkata Image | Sportz Point

"It's good to be back in Kolkata. In the last game, my team played much better than the previous matches and I am very happy about that but we made some mistakes and lost two points. However, we have learnt from our mistakes and are better prepared for the upcoming games. East Bengal has very good players but we are also ready with our plans," said Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis.

Talking about building a solid defense Punjab FC defender Suresh Meitei said, "ISL is very fast and we practice and focus on keeping these things in mind. We always remember that we are here in ISL by becoming the I-League champions. Every player in East Bengal is good and overall they are a good team. We are expecting a very tough match and we will play to the best of our capabilities tomorrow".

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