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Reds seek full points against East Bengal

By Our Reporter

Kolkata: Shillong Lajong FC will be desperate to continue their recently acquired form when they take on title contenders East Bengal in their return I-League clash at the at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Thursday.
The Reds will be heading into Thursday’s game after winning two consecutive matches against Minerva Punjab and Churchill Brothers.
Taking confidence from these victories the Lajong youngsters, who look to be in fine touch, will look to avenge their 1-3 home defeat to East Bengal in November, 2018.
“Winning two games in a row has given the team the much-needed confidence,” Lajong coach Alison Kharsyntiew said on Wednesday.
“We know it won’t be an easy game against East Bengal as they are a big club with good players. They have the home advantage and experienced players like Jobby Justin who can score for the side.”
“Our strategy is to play a more attacking football and work collectively well as a team. I believe that the boys will score more goals, defend and overall play well”, he concluded.
High on confidence after their brilliant come-from-behind win against NEROCA FC, East Bengal will look to further cut the gap at the top of the table and be in real contention for the title they have never won.
Placed fourth in the table with 28 points from 14 games, the home side could go within three points of leader Chennai City FC (34 points), who frittered a three-goal advantage to draw 3-3 against NEROCA in their last outing.
Chennai have also played two matches more than East Bengal, thus tilting the scales in the latter’s favour provided they take their chances.
“We have to think positive and enjoy every game. The most important thing is that everybody in the team enjoys their game and tries to achieve success,” East Bengal’s Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez said on the eve of the match.
“We have to respect the opponent and if we don’t respect we will lose the match because they are a good team. Lajong is doing well lately and their counter attack is also good.”
“We have to enjoy the game and get the three points”, Menendez said.
Menendez might make some changes in the starting XI. Jaime Santos Colado, who is in sublime form at the moment, had suffered a neck injury against Neroca. The Spanish attacker has just recovered from his injury and might find himself on the bench for further rest, which could see Enrique being handed a start.
The match will be telecast live on Star Sports 3 and on digital platforms such as Jio TV and Hotstar from at 5PM. (With inputs from IANS)

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