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East Bengal's injury scares get worse: both Plaza and Wedson will miss the trip to Shillong

A STRING OF bad news has hit I-League leaders East Bengal after a famous 3-1 victory against Bengaluru FC away from home.

First it was Mehtab Hossain being identified by the match referee as the instigator of a post match scuffle with the opponent players and staff. Now it's a double injury blow ahead of their crucial away match against Shillong Lajong.

Willis Plaza was already out of the team with an injury. He did not make the trip to Bengaluru because of it. But the head coach Trevor Morgan and others had hoped he would be fit for the next game. It seems, however, that his progress has been slow. He has failed the final fitness test and the Red and Golds will leave for the Meghalaya capital without him.

East Bengal will not be able to field their best team against Shillong Lajong

The other one is a fresh blow. Wedson Anselme, whose brilliant solo effort goal got East Bengal underway against Bengaluru, sustained an injury during that match and had to be taken off. Now it turns out he has suffered a Grade 2 tear in his hamstring and there's no way to recover other than a 2 week rest. So he is out of the Shillong game and possibly will only return after the international break of March is over.

To replace them, Abinash Ruidas and Lalrindika Ralte have been included in the squad that will travel to Shillong. And East Bengal have been granted additional relief by the return of Cavin Lobo after an 11 month injury spell. But the latter is unlikely to immediately get a start; Morgan will likely give him a cameo or two before he returns to his regular duty for the club. 

Under Morgan, East Bengal have never managed to beat Shillong Lajong. In the first leg, the Red and Golds were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Lajong. Now, pressed hard by close competition from Aizawl FC and arch rivals Mohun Bagan in the I-League title race, East Bengal will try their hardest to break the spell and beat Lajong in their own backyard. But the lack of their two major attackers will be an extra hindrance for them to overcome.

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