Hero Super Cup 2023: Experts predict the winner and the best player of the tournament
After an exciting round of qualifiers, the Hero Super Cup 2023 is all set to start with the main round on April 8. Looking at the squads and the team’s temperament, it is difficult to predict which team will emerge victorious in the tournament.
Bengaluru FC and FC Goa were the winners of the first and second editions of the Super Cup, respectively. Both these teams, and 14 others, will be fighting to become the champions of the Super Cup and book their spot in the Hero Club Playoffs against Gokulam Kerala for a place in the group stage of the AFC Cup 2023–24.
Hero Indian Super League (ISL) experts Erik Paartalu, Phil Brown, and Paul Masefield, who never shy away from expressing their views, have predicted the winner of the Super Cup as well as the Best Player of the tournament.
Winner: Jamshedpur FC
The way Jamshedpur FC peaked up form in the latter stages of the Hero ISL, there is no way they will make a mess of it. The winning mentality is back within the squad, and I think Aidy Boothroyd will restore Jamshedpur FC to their former glory.
Best Player: Lallianzuala Chhangte
Chhangte has already become a hero to Mumbai City FC fans by bagging the ISL Hero of the Tournament award. He is in outstanding form and could make another major impact in the Super Cup. Chhangte loves making big statements, so expect him to create some magic moments for Mumbai City FC.
Winner: Mumbai City FC
Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City FC looks like the favourites to emerge as the winners of the Super Cup. Winning the League Winners’ Shield has instilled confidence and understanding within the squad. Despite losing out to Bengaluru FC in the semi-final, Mumbai City FC have an intrinsic awareness of what it takes to confer this setback. It would be no surprise to see them lifting another trophy this season.
Best Player: Lalengmawia Ralte
Lalengmawia Ralte, popularly known as Apuia, will be the best player in the tournament. He is a tireless engine, and his defensive diligence and slick passing make him a high-class player. His awareness and game-reading ability are exceptional, and he can often be seen dropping back into defence to plug spaces for his teammates.
Winners: Bengaluru FC
I think it's Bengaluru FC all the way. I think losing the Hero ISL title will have hurt them; and it really did hurt them. But they have got such strong characters in that dressing room that they all can bounce back, and I think they are going to do that double with the cup competitions this year.
Best Player: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
I also think that the best player or the player to watch out for in this tournament will be Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. We do know that Bengaluru FC can be defensive and have to be defensive a lot of the time.
With India's no. 1 in between the sticks, you always get a chance to turn around and keep a clean sheet and get the result you require.