Match 69 Preview: Level on points, Bengaluru FC and FC Goa aim for vital victory
Bengaluru FC are up against FC Goa in matchday 69 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
While the Blues had their recent fixture against ATK Mohun Bagan postponed due to covid-19 complications, they recorded a 3-0 victory against Mumbai City FC in the previous game 12 days ago.
FC Goa suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of SC East Bengal in their last outing.
Level on points in the standings, both the teams are slight outsiders in terms of the race for the top four but a win could get them right into the mix.
Bengaluru FC: DDWDW
Unbeaten in their last five games, the Marco Pezzaiuoli-led side sit eighth in the league standings with 13 points, collecting three wins, four draws and losses apiece in 11 games. A win in this game will take them to the fifth spot.
FC Goa: LDWDL
The Gaurs are ninth placed in the league table with 13 points in 12 games and have won only one of their last 5 matches. The Derrick Pereira-led side have registered three wins, four draws, and five losses, and have conceded joint-third most goals in the league (21).
The two sides have shared the field ten times, with Bengaluru FC dominating the fixture picking up five wins while FC Goa have picked up three, whereas the remaining two fixtures have concluded in draws. The reverse fixture in the first half of the season saw FC Goa edging past Bengaluru FC in a 2-1 win. The Blues have been winless against the Gaurs over the last two seasons with their last win coming in the 2019 season.
During the Bengaluru FC pre-match press conference, Marco Pezzaiuoli confirmed a positive case of a Covid-19 in the team and the player is under the complete supervision of the medical team.
In the FC Goa camp, Brandon Fernandes has had a couple of sessions with the team. Head coach Derrick Pereira will discuss with the medical staff to see if he can be in the squad on Sunday.
Roshan Singh Naorem: The Bengaluru defender has slotted in at both right-back and left-back at different points in the season. He has showcased his two footedness and possesses a lethal delivery from set pieces as he leads the Indian contingent in the Hero ISL 21-22 season with five assists. Roshan Singh Naorem has created 19 goalscoring opportunities this season, the highest among Indian players this season.
Prince Ibarra: The striker has scored four goals this season. The Congolese striker has attempted 19 shots this season with 10 of them being on target. He is behind Cleiton Silva for both these metrics among Bengaluru FC players. Prince Ibarra has created nine goal scoring opportunities this season, third highest among Bengaluru FC players after Cleiton Silva (23) and Roshan Singh (19).
Edu Bedia: Bedia is part of the pivot in the FC Goa midfield, crucial in breaking down the opponent’s play, as the midfielder has made 25 interceptions (third most in the league), 32 tackles, 10 blocks, and seven clearances in 10 games. The 32-year-old also boasts a passing accuracy of 84.
Anwar Ali: Ever since he made his debut, Ali has been key figure in the FC Goa backline, making eight tackles, six clearances, four interceptions, and three blocks in 3 games. He is heavily involved in taking FC Goa up the field as he has already taken 206 touches in 270 minutes.
Set-Pieces: The path to the three points
The Blues have scored the joint-most goals from set pieces along with Mumbai City FC this season (11). They are a threat from corners and have scored seven goals from corners this season. No team has scored more from corners than them in Hero ISL 21-22. FC Goa, on the other hand, have conceded the second most goals from set-pieces (11). They have conceded the most goals from free kick situations this season (7).
The Gaurs need a clinical touch
One of the key reasons FC Goa find themselves ninth-placed is their lack of goals. They have only scored 16 goals in their 12 matches this season and have scored more than 1 goal in a match only on three occasions this season. FC Goa have the lowest goal conversion rate out of all teams in the Hero ISL this season (7.6%). They are one of only two teams to have a goal conversion rate fewer than 10%.
Match Timings and Telecast Details
Match: Bengaluru FC vs FC Goa
Date: 23rd January 2022
Venue: Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, Goa
Kick-off time: 7.30 pm
Telecast: Star Sports Network
Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar, and JioTV.