Preview: Bengaluru FC and FC Goa renew rivalry in Kanteerava showdown
Two teams with a rich legacy in the ISL, passionate fan bases, skilful players, and seasoned tacticians will lock horns in front of the West Block Blues
FC Goa will look to turn the tables on Bengaluru FC, which has historically held an upper hand over the Gaurs, banking on their flawless start to the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 campaign. FC Goa will be welcomed to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on October 25, Wednesday by Bengaluru FC, as the Blues gear up to retain their resounding record against Goa in the competition.
Two teams with a rich legacy in the ISL, passionate fan bases, skilful players, and seasoned tacticians will lock horns in front of the West Block Blues in one of the most keenly awaited fixtures in every season of the league.
What’s at stake?
Head coach Simon Grayson had cautioned other teams that the Blues will be a force to reckon with at home before their incredible 2-1 victory over East Bengal FC earlier this month. They came from behind to triumph and get one over their former head coach amidst a rousing reception from their supporters. The Gaurs have had a pitch perfect campaign till now but there is no way one can count Bengaluru out in their own backyard. (Read more: https://www.indiansuperleague.com/interviews/in-the-stands-ft-sunil-chhetri-part-one-the-rebellious-kid-at-school)
The thing with champion coaches is that they don’t waste any time in hitting the ground running. Manolo Marquez is reiterating that belief with the tremendous start to his tenure with FC Goa. They secured a convenient victory over Punjab FC, followed it up with a thrilling late winner against Odisha FC and then struck hard whilst trailing to defeat East Bengal FC on Saturday. Right from his diligent defensive setup, creative midfield play, and goal-scoring efficiency, the Gaurs have gone all in with Marquez’s ideas and are reaping the rewards of the same already. (https://www.indiansuperleague.com/news/we-were-better-in-front-of-goal-than-east-bengal-fc-fc-goas-manolo-marquez)
Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Sunil Chhetri is cut from a different cloth and that needs no second guessing. The man relishes the big stage against major opponents and the whole of Kanteerava will be expecting a blockbuster performance from their ever-inspiring skipper as he leads them out against the team that is the flavour of the season.
Udanta Singh (FC Goa)
Homecomings are always emotional and we have seen plenty of that in the last month of the ISL. However, Udanta Singh and Bengaluru have a connection so deeply entrenched and genuine that he should expect nothing less than a warm welcome in his former hunting ground. From breaking into the scenes to making it to the national team, Udanta did it all whilst plying his trade in Bengaluru. He can shine there once again, albeit in a different shirt this time around.
Played – 13
Bengaluru FC – 7
FC Goa – 3
Draws – 3
Trivia: FC Goa must be delighted with the presence of Sandesh Jhingan in their backline and the India international made the switch to the Gaurs this year from Bengaluru FC whom he represented last season.
“What we have tried to do is to make sure that we are working out on the training pitch and then taking those learning out on the match day situations. A lot of new players have come into the club this summer, so they are still finding their feet around the club and the league. There are some players who have never played in the league before, in this heat and conditions, so there are many circumstances in play. At the moment we are confident with what we are doing and happy with the result that we had in the last game,” Bengaluru FC tactician Grayson said in the pre-match press conference.
“I think when we are losing we need to show the football that we have. When the score was in our favour, the other day, after we scored both goals, we controlled the game very well. We kept the ball, and even had a few chances to kill the game. Against Odisha FC, even when we scored in the 96th minute, they had a chance after that. We have enough football in us to avoid these kinds of situations,” FC Goa head coach Marquez asked his team to pull their socks up and not get complacent on the back of their promising results thus far.
Where to Watch
Viacom18 is the new home of Indian football and the match between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa will kick off at 8 PM on October 25, 2023. Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 SD & HD (English), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), DD Bangla & Colors Bangla Cinema (Bengali). In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.
Top picks & players to watch out for
Sandesh Jhingan (5.5 cr)
An impressive influence on both ends of the pitch and scored a goal in the previous match
Carlos Martinez (4.3 cr)
Efficient goal-scorer and a creative playmaker, grabbed an assist in the last game
Javi Hernandez (10.6 cr)
Notched an acrobatic overheard kick to seal the winner for Bengaluru FC against East Bengal
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