FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC – Three player battles to watch out for

It will be a battle between Bengaluru FC’s famed defense and FC Goa’s well known attacking policy, here we take a look at three key player battles

It will be a battle between Bengaluru FC’s famed defense and FC Goa’s well known attacking policy, here we take a look at three key player battles fans can look out for on Sunday

With a fresh squad and new coach, Juan Ferrando, FC Goa will be looking to make a strong statement this season. Even though the Gaurs won the ISL League Winners’ Shield last season, they crashed out of the tournament in the semifinals losing to Chennaiyin FC. 2018-19 ISL winners, Bengaluru FC, will also be looking to better their record as they too lost to ATK in last season’s semifinals.

FC Goa scored the most number of goals last season but with star striker and league’s all-time top scorer Ferran Corominas departing, a lot rides on his replacement, Igor Angulo. However based on the recruitments, one can be sure that Gaurs this season too will go out with that free-flowing attacking philosophy.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC has kept their core intact with captain Sunil Chhetri leading from the front. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will be a key figure in the defence alongside Juanan and Bheke as the blues kept 11 clean sheets last season.

Statistics will be favouring Bengaluru FC as the blues have beaten FC Goa 5 times out of the 7 times the two sides faced off, however, tomorrow will be an all-new encounter with a lot has changed in the past couple of months

Here we take a look at three key player battles fans can look out for in tomorrow’s game.

#Igor Angulo vs Juanan

Igor Angulo FC Goa

With ISL’s all-time goal scorer departing, Goa has replaced their star man with Igor Angulo who comes with the same reputation as his predecessor. Igor’s challenge against the Blues will be when he faces countryman Juanan who has been a solid figure in Bengaluru’s defence the last 4 years.

With 11 clean sheets to their names last season, Juanan played an important role in Bengaluru’s road to the semifinals. Even Ferran Corominas found it difficult to score against the famed Bengaluru defence, managing to score only 1 goal in the last 6 games he played against Blues.

Angulo will be expected to fill in the Spaniard’s shoes and help overcome the Gaurs’ Bengaluru jinx. With the season’s first game itself being against Bengaluru, Igor will have a task on hand to get the better of Juanan.

#2 Sunil Chhetri vs James Donachie


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The strike force was a concern for the Blues last season with both Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh misfiring but captain Sunil Chhetri remains a key figure for the club going forward. His task on hand will be to face Aussie defender James Donachie who stands tall at 6ft 5 inches.

Donachie comes from the A-League with loads of experience and has also featured in the AFC Champions League. The Aussie will not only be vital to Ferrando’s plans at the back, but also be looking to create problems in the opponent’s box from set-pieces.

Meanwhile, Chhetri with his clinical pace and sharp movements inside the box will look to a nuisance for the Aussie, who will be playing in the ISL for the first time.

#3 BFC wingers vs Goan full-backs

The Bengaluru wingers will be looking to outrun the FC Goa full backs with their blistering pace. Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan and Cleiton Silva certainly have the pace to burn and they can prove to play a vital role in the Blues’ attack.

Both Udanta and Ashique struggled to find goals last season and would want to get things right this season. Meanwhile, Goa is likely to field Sanson Pereira at left-back, with Saviour Gama injured. Young Pereira, who arrived from Salgaocar this off-season will have a chance to shine and prove his worth this season and challenge Saviour Gama for the position.

On the other flank, Brazilian Cleiton Silva may play his first-ever ISL game. The winger has been highly regarded for his goal-scoring ability in Thailand. He is known for using both his feet and can be trouble for opponent fullbacks. For the Gaurs, Seriton Fernandes has been a constant at the right-back position, producing some consistently improving performances.

Cleiton will be a tough challenge for Seriton, as he comes to India with loads of experience and being the first foreign player to score more than 100 goals in the Thai League. The battle between Seriton and Cleiton will be one to look out for as both players will have to be on their toes.

With Bengaluru conceding just 16 goals last season — the least for any team — and Goa scoring more than anyone, fans are in for an entertaining contest between the two heavyweights.

Related Read: 

Ranking FC Goa’s top five biggest wins by goal margin

Top 3 Gaur encounters to look forward this season

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