The 2020/21 Indian Super League (ISL) season will be East Bengal's first season in the league, marking a new era for one of India's oldest football teams. Coached by Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, East Bengal have history and pedigree on their side and will look to take things on their stride in their debut campaign. The excitement surrounding the new entrants grew further when the ISL schedule for the upcoming season was released. Here's a look at the East Bengal schedule, fixtures, playing squad ahead of the new season.
East Bengal made a late entry into the ISL after Shree Cement picked up the majority stakes in the club. The late entry meant that club's Indian contingent was decided before the arrival of coach Robbie Fowler, who is expected to shake things up in Indian football. The Liverpool legend brought in a big team of backroom staff including a set-piece coach in former Blackpool manager Terence McPhillips, which has never been done before in the ISL.
The former England international also had his say in the team's foreign recruits, former Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington, former Southampton defender Danny Fox and ex-Birmingham City midfielder Jacques Maghoma.
The Red and Golds do have some promising Indian talents in Jeje Lalpkehlua, Balwant Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who have seen form desert them in recent times, and Fowler would hope to rekindle their best form this season. Fowler's work with Brisbane Roar has been well credited, and the Reds legend transformed the struggling A-League side to one of the top teams in Australia with wholesome changes to the system. East Bengal would hope that the 45-year-old can replicate his success here in Kolkata.
The ISL is yet to announce the complete schedule for the upcoming season. However, the first 11 rounds of the new season was revealed, which revealed that East Bengal will begin their new campaign against arch-rivals, Mohun Bagan, in the Kolkata derby. Title favourites Mumbai City FC are next on their ISL schedule, with games against NorthEast United, Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad to follow. Here's the schedule released by ISL so far.