The two sides last met in the final of the league in the 2018-19 campaign.
It is now or never for FC Goa. After starting with a resounding victory against Chennaiyin FC, Sergio Lobera and his team are faced with a challenge they should relish. Their old rivals Bengaluru FC come calling to the Fatorda Stadium. There would be no better way to announce their title challenge for this season than beating their biggest rivals.
For Carles Cuadrat and his men, it will be legacy that taunts them. For a club that has been synonymous with success ever since it ‘s inception, another challenge for the title is a must. With a star-studded lineup, both Indian and foreign, they are expected to win all the time and this season is no different. On Monday, they go up against Goa, who look more confident and solid than ever.
FC Goa and Bengaluru FC enter the campaign with the majority of their squad from last season retained. The clubs base their principles on different ideologies, though. But, one thing that is common to both of them is their hunger and desire to win, which is evident in their performances.
When BFC come calling to Goa, victory will be the only thing on Sergio Lobera’s mind. The Spaniard will be expecting nothing less than that, especially if the team are looking to challenge for the crown like last season. They would be looking to exercise the ghosts of the past with a resounding victory against their biggest rivals. It will be a battle that have to win to prove their worth, to show that they are ready.
For Bengaluru FC, despite a tough draw in the opening fixture, it is all about showing the fans and spectators that they are still the team to be feared this season in the league. The best way to do it is to trump the team that could be their direct title rivals like last time. A win against the Gaurs could swing the momentum upwards for them, whilst also taking some steam out of the Goan juggernaut.
FC Goa (Sergio Lobera )
“I need to do more training. I am very optimistic, so it is possible to use the whole squad. We are looking forward to a very difficult match. In the last season, BFC were at a very good level and I think Goa increased the level,” Lobera said.
Read the entire press conference here.
Bengaluru FC (Carles Cuadrat)
“Goa is always a very demanding visit. They have a wonderful team and have managed to retain the squad just like Bengaluru FC. The matches against FC Goa have always been interesting and a treat to watch for the fans. I expect it to be the same and hope we put on a show,” Cuadrat quipped.
Read the entire press conference here.
Ahmed Jahouh will be back for the Gaurs and having him would give Lobera’s side control over the midfield. Even Edu Bedia and Hugo Boumous look likely to feature, after having missed out last week due to fitness issues.
Albert Serran and Erik Paartalu look likely to miss the game for the Blues. Bengaluru FC will most likely feature a team similar to that of last game and will hope Manuel Onwu and Raphael Augusto can deliver this time around.
The Gaurs and Bengaluru have faced each other a total of five times, with the Blues getting the better of Lobera’s side on four occasions. FC Goa have only managed to win once. Their most recent clash was the high-profile final of the Indian Super League 2018-19. Bengaluru FC won that thanks to a late Rahul Bheke header in extra-time.
Man To Watch
Brandon Fernandes (FC Goa)
Playing in a deeper role, Brandon Fernandes was brilliant against Chennaiyin FC. His energy and vision were top-notch. Whether it was spreading play out wide or facilitating the midfielders or even stopping opposition attacks, Brandon was there. With the return of Jahouh, he will be in his element further forward, where he can dictate play with his creativity. His set-piece delivery is also something Bengaluru FC have to be wary of.
Raphael Augusto (Bengaluru FC)
After a disappointing opening night against NorthEast United, Raphael Augusto will be keen to make a mark against FC Goa. The Brazilian was one of the key cogs in the Chennaiyin FC side that won the title two seasons ago and his switch from the Marina Machans raised eyebrows. It is time he validates the move and puts in remarkable performances for his new team.
FC Goa- Nawaz (GK); Seriton, Pena, Fall, Mandar; Jahouh, Lenny; Bedia, Brandon, Doungel; Corominas.
Bengaluru FC – Sandhu (GK); Nishu, Bheke, Juanan, Ashique; Dimas, Khabra; Augusto, Udanta, Chhetri; Onwu.
Did You Know?
- All seven foreigners in the FC Goa squad had been part of the team last season. While Bengaluru retained four of their foreigners from the previous campaign.
- FC Goa and Bengaluru FC have both lost the ISL final previously and then went on to win the Super Cup in the same season.
- Carles Cuadrat was the assistant coach at Bengaluru FC when Albert Roca led the team to their first ever ISL final.
The match between FC Goa and Bengaluru FC is set to be telecast live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD. It will also be streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Watch FC Goa take on Bengaluru FC at Fatorda this Diwali! 😍 Get up to 50% off on tickets, buy now: http://bit.ly/goavsben