East Bengal FC Season Preview – 2023/24


East Bengal FC are expected to come all guns blazing into this upcoming ISL season. After falling short to clinch silverware in the 132nd edition of the Durand Cup by losing to arch-rivals, Mohun Bagan SG in the finals, coach Carles Cuadrat & Co will be looking ahead to build on this momentum and secure a decent position in the 2023-24 ISL season.

The last few seasons for the Red and Gold brigade has been surprisingly disappointing with the team failing to reach the top-four of the league since their debut in ISL. However, the fans will be hoping to revamp the past memories of the last few seasons and would be expecting to script its glory days back into the top-tier league of the nation.

Preseason & what’s at stake?

The expectations from the squad this season will be nothing short of a podium finish. After remoulding the squad from the scratch with a proven winner like Carles Cuadrat at the helm, East Bengal is expected to match the standards which they have been encompassing in Indian football since the last century or so. Carles Cuadrat has been showing positive signs of rapport and team-building between the players ensuring cohesion which was rare in the team since the time they joined ISL.

The fans and fanatics of the club would be impressed by the club’s performances in the latest edition of the Durand Cup as East Bengal reached the finals of the tournament being undefeated in the group stage and KO but felt short to claim the title by losing out to Mohun Bagan. Irrespective of the result in the final, Carles Cuadrat has instilled a spirit of freshness and fighting spirit which proved to be a determining factor in the tournament.

East Bengal

Nandhakumar Sekar has been the standout player for East Bengal in this Durand Cup as he scored a world class goal against Mohun Bagan in the group stages of the tournament. He also was rewarded the Golden Ball for his heroics in the tournament. Overall, the squad looks bright and beaming with confidence for the upcoming football season.

Transfer Activity

The management also made sure that the team goes through a complete overhaul after a disheartening season. East Bengal have roped in former ISL winning coach with Bengaluru FC, Carles Cuadrat as the head-coach and Dimas Delgdao who was a former player in the ISL as their assistant-coach for the season.

This duo will be assisted by Bino George who has been exceptionally taking care of the East Bengal Reserve side. The club parted ways with most of the players in the squad from last season but there were few players who performed well last season like Cleiton Silva, and Mahesh Naorem Singh who were retained.

East Bengal

The club brought in new faces in almost every position, as they went on a mission to recruit prominent and proven Indian as well as overseas players who have a decent amount of experience under their belts. Experienced colts like Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mandar Rao Desai, Nishu Kumar, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul committed their future to the club.

The foreign contingent of the club also had tried and tested league players like Borja Herrera, Saúl Crespo, and Javier Siverio join the club along with a few new faces like Jordan Elsey, and José Antonio Pardo. The club also brought in two-young talented Indian prospects in Nandhakumar Sekar and Prabhsukhan Singh Gill by paying a hefty fee to Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters respectively.


One important factor which might prove to be a determining factor in the later stages of the ISL for East Bengal is squad depth. Injuries are a very serious concern for any team when the league spans over six months, and for that, the club must have a proper and polished backup in every position, which East Bengal has successfully accomplished this season. Additionally, their strengthened goalkeeping area and the presence of an ISL-experienced coach add depth and reliability to their squad.

Secondly, the roster of East Bengal is very experienced and all of them have been constantly playing in the league for the last three or four years which might prove to be crucial in the later stages of the season. Lastly, the deadly attacking trio of Mahesh Naorem Singh, Nandhakumar Sekar, and Cleiton Silva will be a serious threat to any team East Bengal faces.

East Bengal


The prime factor which might haunt East Bengal once again this season might be inconsistency. Even after building a competitive squad for ISL, the ‘Bangaal’ Brigade might lose out to its opponents just for being inconsistent. Secondly, with the injury of Jordan Elsley who is expected to be out for a long duration, East Bengal has lost one of its major work-force who was so rigid in defence. Now, it has to be seen how East Bengal manages to replace the formidable defender in such a short span of time.

The limited options among domestic midfielders can hinder their midfield control, and the absence of a proper backup to Chunga poses a risk. Furthermore, the club lacks a capable Indian striker, which could affect their goal-scoring opportunities.

East Bengal Predicted Starting XI

East Bengal FC Season Preview - 2023/24 20230914 184842

One youngster to watch out for

East Bengal is a squad filled with experienced and young lads, but there is one youngster who is going to be a promising talent for the ‘Bangaal Brigade’ in the long run. He is undoubtedly the 17-year-old midfielder for East Bengal – Vanlalpeka Guite. He is a creative ball playing midfielder and has been scouted by Carles Cuadrat while he was playing with the U-17 team in Madrid.

Last year, Guite was honoured as the Most Valuable Player in the Blue Colts’ triumphant SAFF U-17 Championship campaign. He performed exceptionally well in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup earlier this year. The young offensive midfielder, who is from Aizawl, is hungry to perform at his highest level for East Bengal. If he continues to deliver high-calibre performances throughout the season, then he is definitely going to be one promising youngster to watch out for in this ISL season.

Vanlalpeka Guite

Predicted finish

With such a competent squad filled with experience, East Bengal must make sure that they finish in the top-four of the table this time. East Bengal have been facing an issue to hold on to their consistent performances in the ISL in the last few editions, but they need to make sure that the story evolves this time. Carles Cuadrat is a proven winner in India and the club must bank on his experience and expertise to ensure that they finish in a decent position and qualify for the knockout stage.

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