Last year semi-finalists FC Goa and Bengaluru FC lock horns in the third match of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 7 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. It is a clash between the best attack and best defence of last season's ISL when Goa being the top goal scorers while Bengaluru boasted the best defence.
FC Goa would like to maintain their fluid attacking-based football which they had under Sergio Lobera that helped them gain entry into the AFC Champions League. Juan Ferrando has promised fans that the team will maintain attacking style of football and it will be a real test for him.
Though they have lost star forward Ferran Corominas and midfielder Hugo Boumous, FC Goa have added both quality domestic and foreign players in the summer and will hope to improve on their record against Bengaluru FC which currently stands on 5 losses, one draw and one victory. They would rely on lethal striker Igor Angulo along with Jorge Ortiz to deliver the goods up front.
Skipper Edu Bedia and Lenny Rodrigues will be crucial in midfield for the Gaurs this season while we should also watch out for Princeton Rebello.
Having strengthened their squad in the summer, especially their attack, Bengaluru FC will be hoping to become more dangerous from open play. They will be banking on Sunil Chehtri, obviously, as well as experienced attacker Cleiton Silva who they brought in on a free transfer. They will also be relying on experienced Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who kept a record 11 clean-sheets last season.
Sunil Chhetri training in Goa (Source: Twitter / Bengaluru FC)
Left-back Ajith Kumar would like to make a case for the full back spot ahead of Ashique Kuruniyan. The Blues have also acquired central defender Pratik Chaudhari from Mumbai City FC as well as Fran Gonzalez from Mohun Bagan. Either of these two could partner Juanan at the back.
It remains to be seen what lineup Carles Cuadrat selects for his starting XI.
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz; Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Saviour Gama; Edu Bedia, Lenny Rodrigues; Seiminlen Doungel, Brandon Fernandes, Jorge Ortiz; Igor Angulo
Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Rahul Bheke, Pratik Chaudhari, Juanan Gonzalez, Ajith Kumar; Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado, Suresh Singh Wangjam; Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri
Since Bengaluru’s inclusion in the ISL, both teams have faced each other seven times with Bengaluru FC having the upper hand with five victories compared to FC Goa’s one. There has only been one draw played between the two sides which came last year in this stadium.
The biggest match so far this season, we expect Bengaluru FC to maintain their record against the gaurs and get another victor.
FC Goa 1-2 Bengaluru FC
TV Channel & Live stream
The clash between FC Goa and Bengaluru FC will be televised across Star network and Hotstar with the kick-off at 7:30 p.m.