ISL 2023–24: Bengaluru FC set to host winless Punjab FC
Punjab FC are yet to win a game in the ISL.
Bengaluru FC will host Punjab FC in matchweek 8 of the 2023-24 Indian Super League (ISL) season on November 30 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. As the race for the top six in the league is intensifying and is getting closer, both clubs from this point will be hungry for a win and will be aiming for securing three points.
Simon Grayson’s Bengaluru FC, who have gone four games without a win, will try hard from here on to win at their fortress following the lengthy international break, while Punjab FC will strive to capture their first win of the ISL season as they continue to chase the full three points.
Bengaluru FC’s 2023–24 Indian Super League campaign hasn’t gotten off to the ideal start. Out of their seven games this season, the Blues have only won one, lost three, and tied three. As a result, Simon Grayson’s Bengaluru FC is now in eighth place in the league standings after only managing to earn six points from seven games.
The Blues had to share spoils in their last away game against the Highlanders in Guwahati where even after getting ahead in the scoreline, the match did not go in their favor, as an own goal lost them two points and left them to settle for another draw. So, Simon Grayson and his boys will strive to grab three points from their upcoming home fixtures, as Bengaluru FC hopes to turn things around by the middle of the season. So it’ll be interesting to see how the Blues prepare as we get closer to the playoffs.
Punjab FC have struggled to obtain the appropriate results after being promoted from the I-league to the Indian Super League. Staikos’ squad is still looking for their first win of the season, despite having played seven games the team has faced setbacks in four matches and settled for draws in three encounters.
Punjab FC secured a point in their last fixture against Hyderabad FC. However, in the match prior to that, despite putting up a strong effort, they faced a 2-1 defeat against the Highlanders. Even their encounter with Chennaiyin prior to that proved challenging as they conceded five goals, ultimately losing the match 5-1. So, as the league draws closer to the midway mark, Staikos’ boys will want to win against the Blues and climb up the points table.
Injury & Team News
It is expected that Punjab FC will field out a completely fit squad with availability of all players. Additionally, it’s quite likely that Bengaluru FC will have a full roster, however Ryan Williams’ place in the starting lineup may be uncertain following his forced substitution due to a minor injury last day. Other than that, there are no major injury concerns for the Blues before they face off against Punjab FC at their stronghold.
Total Matches- 3
Bengaluru FC win- 2
Punjab FC win- 0
Bengaluru FC (4-4-2)
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Aleksandar Jovanovic, Namgyal Bhutia, Roshan Naorem Singh, Suresh Singh, Javi Hernandez, Curtis Main, Sunil Chhetri, Sivasakti, Keziah Veendorp, Halicharan Narzary
Punjab FC (4-3-2-1)
Kiran Kumar Limbu (GK), Nikhil Prabhu, Khundongbam Krishnananda, Madih Talal, Khaiminthang Lhungdim, Juan Mera, Ashis Pradhan, Nitesh Darjee, Suresh Meitei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Luka Majcen
Players to watch
Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
Sunil Chhetri is a prime example of the maxim “age is just a number.” He is the oldest player presently playing in the Indian Super League 2023–24 season. He has continuously proved himself to be a crucial member of Bengaluru FC over the last several seasons. As a real team player and captain, Chhetri’s dedication and agility are demonstrated by his unwavering chase for every ball and his ability to take advantage of half-chances and converting from there.
This season Chhetri has already bagged three goals in five matches with completing 100+ passes with a passing accuarcy of 73%. Thus, without any doubt, Chhetri will lead the Blues’ attacking part from the front and aim for three points against Punjab in their fortress, and so he could be an essential component for Bengaluru FC in terms of scoring when partnered alongside Curtis Main and Ryan Williams.
Juan Mera (Punjab FC)
Juan Mera has emerged as a key player for Punjab FC this season, forging good combinations with Luka Majcen and Madih Talal. Mera, in addition to his scoring contributions, plays an important defensive role for the squad and commands the midfield well. So far, he has one goal and one assist for Punjab FC and also has created seven scoring chances and displayed his exceptional passing abilities by completing 190 passes with an 82% accuracy rate in the current season.
Juan Mera, who has the leadership ability to take control of any game and lead his team to the desired outcome, will thus be a key player for Staikos in their battle against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
Did you know?
- Reigning Olympic, World and Asian Games champion Neeraj Chopra will be present at Thursday’s Bengaluru FC vs Punjab FC game at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
- Madih Talal of Punjab FC is being voted PSAPP Best Foreign Player of Greece Super League 2, 2022-23 (Group B)
- Bengaluru FC has now gone four games without a win.
The Bengaluru FC vs Punjab FC game kicks off at 8:00 PM IST, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on 30 November. Live telecast of the fixture will be available on Sports18 Network (Sports18 1/VH1 Channel). Live streaming of the game will be available on the Jio Cinema app. Viewers from abroad can use OneFootball to stream the game.
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