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AFC Cup 2021: How will Bengaluru FC line up in the AFC Cup?

The Blues from Bengaluru are all set to clash against the Mariners in an all-Indian clash in the AFC Cup on 18th, how do you think will they line up in the tournament?

AFC Cup 2021: How will Bengaluru FC line up in the AFC Cup?

A lot would depend on how Marco sets his team, and on the captain Sunil Chhetri (Source: ISL Media)


Siddharth Mishra

Published: 17 Aug 2021 2:54 PM GMT

Last season when Carles Cuadrat was sacked, Bengaluru FC's vacant managerial position was one of the most talked out things in the Indian Super League. In the last phase of the competition, it was announced that German Marco Pezzaiuoli will be the new manager of the club, and will begin his coaching campaign before the AFC Cup.

The club wanted a change in style, as the results were not going the way they wanted, and hence Carles had to go and Marco had to take charge. The club would be having a lot of expectations from Marco and would look forward to seeing the players play more direct and attacking football. Marco had a good start to his coaching career for BFC in the first two games. In his first match, the club beat Nepal's Thirbhuvan Army Club by five goals to nil. It was the first playoffs of the AFC Cup. In the second match, BFC beat Club Eagles from the Maldives by one goal to nil to confirm their spot in the group stage of the AFC Cup. In two matches he has had two victories, but now is the time when he will be bested.

In the first two matches, he has played a 4-3-3 formation. In the match against the Thirbhuvan Army Club, he placed a midfield of Erik Paartalu, Harmanjot Khabra, and Suresh Wangjam, while in the second match he played an all Indian midfield of Rohit Kumar, Suresh Wangjam, and Jayesh Rane. Cleiton. Sunil and Udanta have been leading the line in both the matches and we expect that it will be the same in the group stages also. Here are three formations that I think Marco can use in the AFC Cup.

1. 4-3-3

The line up that he used against Club Eagles will be the first choice. The reason being, it is tried and tested and the players have got some minutes playing this in style. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will be in goal, while the back four would comprise of Ashique Kuruniyan, Alan Costa, Musavu King. The pairing of Costa and King looked promising in the first game, and the club would be hoping that they grow on, and become a solid pair. The new signing Sarthak Guloi will be the right-back.

Sunil Chhetri on the left wing, Cleiton Silva as the striker and Udanta Singh as the right winger can be the three forwards. The club would be hoping that Udanta gets his form back and explodes again like he did two seasons back.

Suresh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar and Jayesh Rane will be the midfield. The midfield looked fresh, and promising but one of the key observations made was the fans was that it lacked experience. The club was definitely missing the creative part of Dimas Delgado or Erik Paartalu, and it was clear as the game progressed. What can be a possible solution to the creativity that was missed in BFC's line-up.

2. 4-2-3-1

A 4-2-3-1 can be a good solution to revive the creativity that was missed on the pitch.

As always Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in goal, with Costa and King as the center backs. Sarthak Guloi retains his place as the right back, while Ajith Kumar or Naorem Roshan Singh takes the left back positon. You must be wondering where has Ashique gone? The answer to that is he takes up the role as a left winger. Ashique is a not a natural left back, and he loves to play in an attacking position. He combines really well with Sunil, and can supply in crosses for the forwards to attack in the box.

Suresh and Jayesh can be the midfielders in the double pivot, while Cleiton takes the number ten role. The Brazillian is very good with the ball and can break defenses with a single pass. He will solve the problem for the lack of creativity in the team. Udanta take his preferred spot in the right wing, while Sunil Chhetri takes up the goal scoring responsibility as the sole striker up front.

3. 4-4-2

A balanced formation with a lot of attacking options, it can be a formation used by Marco in the games against Mazhiya or Basundhra Kings. The back four remains the same, with Gurpreet keeping his place in goal.

Ashique and Udanta on the flanks, while Suresh and Jayesh/ Rohit take up the space in central midfield. Sunil Chhetri and Cleiton Silva can be the two center forwards up front. The formation will be very impactful, if the wingers can supply good crosses for Cleiton and Chhetri, as both players have phenomenal heading abilities.

Leon Augustine can also be a good option in the wings, while Bidyashagar Singh, Danish Farood, Harmanpreet Singh also add to the amazing squad depth BFC possesses. It will be amazing to see how BFC use all their players in the AFC Cup.

The Blues take on ATK Mohun Bagan FC in the first match of the AFC Cup group stage. How do you thin will they line up against the Mariners?

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