Goa vs East Bengal: Preview and Prediction

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Goa’s season is back on track as the Gaurs are chasing the ISL League Winners’ Shield

Matchday 18 of the 2023-24 Indian Super League season will witness a high-profile clash between Goa and East Bengal at the Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday from 7:30 PM IST.

Manolo Marquez was very upbeat about his side’s performances in the last couple of fixtures and the Spaniard is hopeful about the remaining six matches in the league stage.

He said, “We could have come back with six points from Kerala and Mumbai and we only came back with one point. The team performed very well in the first half against Kerala Blasters and we would look at this in a different way if we got more points.”

Current Form

The Gaurs are in the fourth position with 29 points from 16 matches courtesy of 8 wins, 5 draws, and 3 losses. All of those three losses came in February against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, NorthEast United, and Kerala Blasters.

Marquez’s Goa would be happy about breaking the losing streak with a 1-1 draw at the Mumbai Football Arena and the Gaurs would now be hopeful about matches against East Bengal and Bengaluru.

On the other hand, East Bengal currently has 18 points from 17 matches courtesy of 4 wins, 6 draws, and 7 losses so far in the league season. Since winning the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup, 

Two wins, three losses, and a draw since the resumption of the league season has the fans hoping for a sixth position to qualify for the playoffs with a late surge but the Torchbearers have a challenging proposition ahead of them with Carles Cuadrat’s men as they face Goa and MBSG in their next two matches before the international break.

Head to Head Record

Since East Bengal started playing in the ISL, the two teams have met on 7 occasions with the 2019-29 ISL League Shield Winners having the upper hand with 4 wins while the Red and Gold Brigade has 2 wins with a solitary contest ending in a draw.

The reverse fixture in the league saw East Bengal host Goa at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar due to Durga Pujo Celebrations and the match ended 2-1 in favor of the visitors. Cuadrat’s men grew into the match after the half-hour mark and Naorem Mahesh Singh opened the scoring in the 40th minute from the edge of the penalty box with Nandhakumar Sekar providing the assist.

Brandon Fernandes had to be taken off the field on a stretcher early in the second half after an ugly challenge from an East Bengal player. With Noah Sadaoui missing the fixture, the onus of creating the goals fell on Victor Rodriguez who delivered his best performance in a Goa jersey.

Rodriguez delivered a fine free-kick in the 74th minute which was headed into the back of the net by Sandesh Jhingan, the first ISL goal for the Indian international. A minute later, Carlos Martinez sent Rodriguez through on goal and the former Odisha forward scored the decisive goal in Odisha’s capital city.

Team News

Brandon Fernandes has made himself available for the crucial clash

For the hosts, Brandon would be available for the fixture after training for a few days in the build-up to the match while Leander D’Cunha’s ankle has healed but the defender has picked up a fresh injury on his toes and is ruled out for the upcoming fixture.

Rowllin Borges, Odei Onaindia, Sadaoui, and Seriton Fernandes are at risk of suspension if they pick up a booking against the Torchbearers on Wednesday.

For the visitors, Cuadrat would not be able to call for the services of Ajay Chhetri in the middle of the park as the midfielder picked up his fourth yellow card of the league season in the 2-1 defeat against Odisha. 

Chhetri’s suspension would make the East Bengal midfield a bit more light on resources as Saul Crespo is nearing a return to full fitness and might be available from the bench for the Kolkata giants if the need arises.

Club captain Harmanjot Khabra also returned in the 2-1 defeat against Odisha but playing the full 90 minutes against a team like Goa might come a bit soon for the 35-year old defensive-minded player.

Predicted Starting XIs

Goa (4-4-2): Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem; Serotonin Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Jay Gupta; Boris Singh, Carl McHugh, Raynier Fernandes, Mohammed Yasir; Noah Sadaoui, Carlos Martinez

East Bengal (4-2-3-1): Prabhsukhan Gill; Mohammed Rakip, Hijazi Maher, Lalchungnunga, Nishu Kumar; Souvik Chakrabarti, Victor Vazquez; Naorem Mahesh Singh, Cleiton Silva, Nandhakumar Sekar; Felicio Brown Forbes


Both teams have a lot at stake with Goa chasing the ISL League Winners’ Shield while Cuadrat is hoping to get his side into the playoffs by sneaking into the sixth position which would mark a happy end to the season for the East Bengal fans who have already experienced joy by watching their side lift the 2024 Super Cup trophy.