ISL IX: East Bengal eye second home win
Kerala Blasters will have the opportunity to establish a four-point cushion over ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL if they get full points against East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium on Friday.
A win will be crucial at this juncture for the Blasters to be confident of playoff spots, while East Bengal are already out of contention for the same.
Currently ninth on the table, East Bengal are 10 points shy of the final playoff spot.
Last week, they scored twice in the second half, yet ended up losing 4-2 to FC Goa.
With an eye on next season, East Bengal FC are in search of their second win at home this season in what will be their eighth game at the venue. Their transfer embargo was lifted last week, which will allow them to bring new signing Jake Jervis into the starting XI following a two-week wait.
Head coach Stephen Constantine mentioned last week the importance of Cleiton Silva and how East Bengal wanted to pair him up with a good attacking partner.
To fulfil that need, Jervis will be getting a start.
Odisha FC held
Chennaiyin FC held Odisha FC 2-2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday. The draw meant Odisha FC are back in sixth place and a point ahead of Bengaluru FC, while Chennaiyin FC are now five points behind them in the eighth position.
Chennaiyin twice came from behind, thanks to strikes from captain Anirudh Thapa (25th minute) and Abdenasser El Khayati (57th minute), after Diego Mauricio put Odisha FC ahead in the 24th minute and Isak Ralte regained them the lead soon after half-time. Chennaiyin, though, began the game on the front foot.
After putting pressure on the Odisha defence, they finally found space down the right from where Thapa found Vincy Barretto’s diving header in the 19th minute.
But Amrinder Singh made the first of his three big saves in the game, stretching to his left to tip the ball wide. But it was Odisha who broke the deadlock.