Fortress set to come alive as Blues welcome East Bengal FC

Simon Grayson’s Bengaluru FC Keen To Turn Corner As Indian Super League Action Returns To The Kanteerava

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC Head Coach Simon Grayson said his side are eager to make amends when they take on East Bengal FC at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. The Blues, who began their campaign with defeats in Kerala and Kolkata, are up against the Red and Golds, who have a win and a draw on the board, and are coached by former Bengaluru Head Coach Carles Cuadrat.

“When the fixtures came out, we were desperate for a home game. We bounce off the supporters and their energy and it can be a cracking atmosphere. Since the last time we played here, we’ve lost two finals. Ultimately, we want to start winning football matches, because we haven’t had the best of starts this season,” said Grayson, speaking to the media on the eve of the game.

The Blues will welcome Sunil Chhetri and Rohit Danu, who were on national duty at the Asian Games, back into the fold. Grayson, however, will be without Suresh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh, who will serve their suspensions for red cards they picked up against Mohun Bagan last week.

“Sunil (Chhetri) and Rohit Danu are back and it’s nice to have them as options again. We’ve been a little short on numbers in attack, with Halicharan out, Javi (Hernandez) and Curtis (Main) probably not as fit as we’d like them to be. So having Rohit (Danu) and Sunil back and training adds competition to places and I’m delighted to have them as options,” added Grayson.

It will be interesting to see how the Englishman picks his side for Wednesday’s fixture, with a combination of returning and suspended players. Bengaluru went down to East Bengal on both occasions last term, with former Bengaluru man Cleiton Silva bagging the winner at the Kanteerava and in the reverse fixture in Kolkata.

The visitors have added to their arsenal in the summer, bringing in the likes of Nishu Kumar, Prabhsukhan Gill, Harmanjot Khabra, all of whom have played for the Blues in the past. 

“I watched East Bengal when we were in Kolkata last week, where they drew against Jamshedpur FC. They’ve had a steady start, have a lot of experienced players in their ranks and some who have played under the coach previously. We want to get off to a positive start, and hopefully win the football match and give our supporters something to cheer about,” added Grayson.

Kick-off between the Blues and East Bengal is scheduled for 8 PM IST and will be telecast live on Jio Cinema and across the Sports18 Network.

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