Dempo Salgaocar
Dempo will look for their first win of the I-League season when they take on East Bengal in KolkataAIFF

East Bengal will look to pick up their first home win of the I-League season when they host struggling Dempo on Thursday afternoon.

The Kolkata giants have only played one game all season, owing to their AFC Cup involvement.

East Bengal, though, have looked good under new coach Marcos Falopa and will head into the game against Dempo with three points from their only game.

EB will also look at this match as the perfect warm-up to their crucial AFC Cup second-leg semifinal match against Kuwait SC, with the I-League side trailing 4-2 after the first leg.

"The game against Dempo won't be easy for us. Rather, we should brace ourselves for a tough contest, as Dempo are a very good side," Falopa said. "It's imperative we try our best and do well against them to ensure we continue our winning momentum.

"We have some important matches ahead. The AFC Cup game, too, is one of them. So, in the coming days, we must make it a point to continue playing good football."

Dempo, one of the most successful teams since the inception of the I-League, are currently in ninth, one behind East Bengal, but having played three more matches.

The Goan giants have picked up just three points from four matches this season, with three draws and a loss.

Dempo have not looked anything like the side that looked so formidable under Armando Colaco for so many years, and a win over East Bengal in Kolkata will do their confidence a world of good.

"At this stage we are not completely satisfied with our results although as every game has progressed we have shown improvement as a collective unit in our performances," said Dempo coach Arthur Papas, who impressed everyone last season with Pailan Arrows. "As a group we have shown in the last match against Salgaocar that we can compete very well with the top teams in the league and we just need to put forward a consistent 90 minute performance."

Where to watch

The match is scheduled for a 2.30 p.m (IST) start with live coverage on Ten Action.