HomeFootballEast Bengal vs Odisha, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

East Bengal vs Odisha, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Two winless sides East Bengal and Odisha lock horns in the Sunday evening encounter of Indian Football League 2020-21 to search for the first victory of the season. Both sides had played a couple of draws but haven’t added a single win yet.

Match Timings: Jan 03, 5 PM IST 

Team Preview 

On the first Sunday of 2021 will witness the two bottom sides battling out in Tilak Maidan. East Bengal are just one point better-off the Odisha. They came close twice to the win but slipped in the end. The debut season for I-League giants has been pretty disappointing but they are improving from the last couple of games. They concluded 2020 with a 2-2 draw against Chennai. Lallianzuala Chhangte scored the goal in the 13th minute through a delicate flick from Jakub Sylvestr. Bengal defenders kept the defense tight and Chennai maintained the possession to end the first half with a 1-0 lead. Mohammed Rafique missed an absolute sitter to sent the ball past Vishal Kaith but Bengal dominated in the last few minutes. 

Bengal improved in the second half and Steinmann equalised for them in the 59th minute through a superb corner-kick from Bikash Jairu. Bengal couldn’t enjoy this goal as Rahim Ali scored his second goal of the season five minutes later. Matti Steinmann completed the brace with a 68th-minute strike. Chennai’s goalkeeper pushed Danny Fox’s header to Steinmann and the German sent the ball into an open net. The Gold and Reds could have taken three points but Scott Neville missed a free header in the end. 

Robbie Fowlers went with the same playing XI and tweaked the formation from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2. Surchandra Singh and Bikash Jairu were impressive as full-backs. Matti Steinmann and Mohammed Rafique stole the show in midfield. Bengal scored from 2 of their 8 corners and Matti Steinmann was the hero of the match who had 75% of pass accuracy with 63 touches on the ball. They can blame themselves as Mohammed Rafique and Scott Neville both missed out on the opportunity in both half. 

Meanwhile, Odisha failed to replicate the last edition’s performance this season. Two points from seven matches put them on the bottom slot and they are the side who have lost most matches this season. In the previous match, they ended a four-matches losing streak to get one point against Northeast. Odisha showed a lot of character and it would help them to better their points in 2021. Diego Mauricio scored the first goal for Odisha in the 22nd minute. Northeast missed out on some early chances but they finally equalized before the half-time whistle through a Benjamin Lambot header. Highlanders continued its top game to gain the lead in the 65th minute through Kwesi Appiah’s penalty. Cole Alexander equalised two minutes later with a beautiful curling goal. 

Nus’ men had 56% of possession and Odisha were lucky as Northeast couldn’t grab the opportunities. The Kalinga Warriors also had two good chances in the first-half through Vinit Rai and Mauricio. Odisha won the second half and they should admire all the efforts. Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Diego Mauricio made a counter-attack against the Highlanders. The duo got enough support from the full-backs Shubham Sarangi and Hendry Antonay. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form

East Bengal  

Debjit Majumder; Scott Neville, Daniel Fox, Sehnaj Singh, Bikash Jairu, Surchandra Singh, Jacques Maghoma, Tomba Singh, Matti Steinmann, Mohammed Rafique, Anthony Pilkington

Current form: D D L D L 

Previous match: 2-2 draw with Chennai 


Arshdeep Singh (GK), Shubham Sarangi, Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor, Hendry Antonay, Gaurav Bora, Vinit Rai, Cole Alexander, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Manuel Onwu, Diego Mauricio

Current form: D L L L L 

Previous match: 2-2 draw with Northeast 

Key Players 

East Bengal 

Matti Steinmann

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Jacques Maghoma

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 


Diego Mauricio

3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Jerry Mawihmingthanga

2 assists in Indian Football League 2020-21


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