Reigning champions Bengaluru FC are set to take on table-toppers East Bengal in the I-League match at the Shree Kanterava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Though Bengaluru FC have defeated East Bengal at home convincingly in the past two seasons, they tasted a 1-2 defeat in their away game this season.
In what may be termed as a mid-season slump, which seems to be far from over, the Bengaluru are winless in the last six rounds, and yet to win an away match.
East Bengal’s recent drop in form after six consecutive wins witnessed them picking only two points from last three matches.
Their woe compounded when they lost the previous match to Aizawl FC. East Bengal still manage to stay at the top with a better goal difference than Mohun Bagan, the later, having played a match less.
Bengaluru FC coach Roca termed it as a tough game and said: “We have a lot of positives from the last three games, the way we have played, creating more chances, we were on our way to winning, unfortunately, we were not so lucky!”
More than a month ago, Bengaluru’s fall started against the same team, which coach terms as ‘Pain’.
“We expect East Bengal coming hard on us. From three bad results, I am sure even for them this is an important game.” the Spaniard told mediapersons here.
“It (goal) is the most important thing in football, we are creating chances but not efficient enough to score a goal, we are working on it,” he added.
The visitors will be without their injured striker Willis Plaza and Lalrindika Ralte, who is out owing to the automatic yellow card suspension. Bengaluru will go out without John Johnson.
East Bengal Coach Trevor James Morgan realised that a ‘tough game’ is awaiting his troop.
“Bengaluru is a good side with good players. I think we have to perform well and get a result. We are quite disappointed with the last two games we played against Shillong Lajong and Aizawl FC. We need to start winning and tomorrow’s game will be a tough one,” Morgan said.