The Blues kick-start their continental campaign against opponents from Nepal.
Bengaluru FC are all set to play their AFC Cup second preliminary round fixture against Tribhuwan Army FC at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. This will be the first competitive match for the new BFC tactician, Marco Pezzaiuoli. The Italian will hope to secure qualification to the AFC Cup group stages in the weeks to come.
The opponents can spring up a surprise however, due to the factor of the unknown. Tribhuwan Army FC could be tricky opponents for the Indian Super League (ISL) outfit, who need to be careful of the threat they possess.
Here is the preview to the vital clash between Bengaluru FC vs Tribhuwan Army FC in the AFC Cup second preliminary round fixture:
Bengaluru FC are the favourites on-paper with bigger stars to boast of. The side need to forget about the terrible ISL 2020/21 season and start afresh with the new tactician at the helm. Losing against a weaker side would be detrimental to their confidence, as they continue working their way to rebuild the lost flair.
Tribhuwan Army FC are up against tougher opponents than they usually face in their domestic league. The tag of the “underdog” could work in their favor. The Nepalese club must play without any hesitation and look to hurt the Blues with their attacking prowess. The performance against Sri Lanka Police should be a huge motivation for them.
Bengaluru FC will hope their skipper Sunil Chhetri is fit enough to feature against Tribhuwan Army FC. He has been recovering from the after-effects of COVID-19. Tribhuwan Army FC should have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Both the teams have not faced each other before, and this will be the first encounter between them. The unknown factor will play a huge role in deciding the fate of the match.
Bengaluru FC: G. Sandhu; Bheke, Juanan, Yrondu Musavu-King, Kuruniyan; Paartalu, Wangjam, Naorem Singh, Udanta; Silva, Lalrindika.
Tribhuwan Army FC: Chaudhary; Shrestha, Khawas, Tamang, Gurung; Angdembe, Tamang, T. Basnet, B. Basnet, N. Shrestha, B.Khawas.
Man to Watch
Cleiton Silva (Bengaluru FC)
Cleiton Silva was one of the few consistent performers for Bengaluru in the previous season. He scored seven goals and made four assists in 18 games during his debut season in India. The Brazilian also scored a free-kick in one of the friendlies a few weeks ago.
The forward will be the most obvious threat to the opposition. He will shoulder the larger chunk of responsibility to score for the team in case Chhetri is not fit enough to start the game.
Nawayug Shrestha (Tribhuwan Army FC)
Nawayug Shrestha is a center-forward who is on loan at Tribhuwan Army FC from Pokhara Thunders. He scored an impressive brace against Sri Lanka Police in a 5 – 1 victory. The 30-year-old plays in a two-striker system alongside Bharat Khawas and the duo could pose a lot of problems for BFC’s defenders.
Did You Know?
- Marco Pezzaiuoli was the technical director at Eintracht Frankfurt before joining Begaluru FC.
- Bengaluru FC missed the ISL playoffs for the first time after finishing seventh in the league standings.
- Tribhuwan Army FC received their AFC club license as recently as in 2020.
The AFC Cup preliminary round two clash between Bengaluru FC and Tribhuwan Army FC will be played at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa from 7:30pm IST on Wednesday. The game will not be televised in India. But, you can catch the live commentary of the game on Khel Now.