Miguel Portugal hails Bengaluru as the best team in India, Carles Cuadrat not taking Pune City lightly
Written by: Neil Talnikar
The Stallions will look to bag all three points in their first home game of the season against the Blues.
Bengaluru FC visit FC Pune City on Monday as the home team are in search of their first win of the season. The last time the two sides met, was during the semi-finals of last season when Bengaluru got the better of Pune City thanks to a hat-trick from none other than Sunil Chhetri. Though the Stallions have not defeated the Blues in the last four matches, they will enjoy the advantage of their home ground which can be a game changer for the Stallions.
Miguel Angel Portugal (FC Pune City)
The new coach at FC Pune City looked quite confident in his team as he expressed his desire for the team to score more goals. “We need to score more goals to win matches. Without goals, it will be a very difficult task for the team to win points.”
When asked about last game against Mumbai City FC, Portugal spoke about how the Stallions had many opportunities to score but they failed to do so. “But it was in the past and we now look forward to our next game against Bengaluru FC," he quipped.
“We need to start scoring goals first. In my opinion, the teams who score first, 90% of the time they win the games," Portugal continued.
Bengaluru will be a tough opposition for the Stallions as they are yet to find a win this season with two matches played. The Spaniard also knows that it will be a tough fixture and also spoke a few words of appreciation for the opponent team. “According to me, they (Bengaluru) are the best team in India.”
“They have the same squad since two seasons and the same coaching staff which have helped them find a good connection between themselves and produce results,” he added. However, the coach further added that even if it is a difficult game, the Stallions have a plan in motion to win it.
Carles Cuadrat (Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC have won only one of their two fixtures till now and Carles Cuadrat looked quite satisfied with the Blues’ performance. However, the coach looked wary of the opponents and stated that they (Bengaluru) cannot take the game for granted. “Sometimes when the teams lose consecutive games, they always look forward to bounce back stronger and usually win such games if the opponent teams are overconfident.”
Further, Cuadrat also mentioned the high competitiveness in the Indian Super League (ISL). “You cannot play down the lower teams,” he said. He also talked about how the results can change in last moments even against the lower ranked teams.
When asked about his opinion on Portugal’s comments of Bengaluru being the best team in India, Cuadrat laughingly said, “I talked to him (Portugal) last week. Maybe the comments are to make us feel overconfident and eventually make us weak.”
The Spaniard also spoke about the other teams in the ISL and how strong they are this season. “The teams have made good transfers this season and have strengthened their squads. For instance, Pune City have a set of talented attacking players. Jamshedpur FC, too, have a very good squad and they are playing nice football. ”
FC Pune City
Marko Stankovic and Rohit Kumar are out for the Stallions with injuries. Marcelinho is poised to make his first appearance in the ISL 2018-19 on Monday.
New arrival Robinson Singh is the only injury concern for the Blues whereas the rest of the squad is fit and raring to go.
FC Pune City
Vishal Kaith, Matt Mills, Martin Diaz, Sarthak Golui, Lalchhuan Mawia, Adil Khan, Jonathan Vila, Marcelinho, Nikhil Poojary, Emiliano Alfaro, Robin Singh
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Nishu Kumar, Juanan, Erik Paartalu, Harmanjot Khabra, Xisco Hernandez, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Miku
Did You Know?
- FC Pune City have never won a game against Bengaluru FC in the league.
- Out of 31 goals scored by Pune City last season, Marcelinho and Emiliano Alfaro have combined to score 17 goals amongst them.
- Since last season, Sunil Chhetri and Miku have combined to score a total of seven goals against FC Pune City.
The match will take place tomorrow at 7:30 pm at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. On television, the match will be broadcasted live on Star Sports network. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and JioTV.