Matchweek 5 Preview (BFC vs FCG): Bengaluru FC prepares to repeat historic heroics to halt FC Goa’s perfect run

FC Goa will look to turn the tables on Bengaluru FC, which has historically held an upper hand over the Gaurs, banking on their flawless start to the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 campaign. FC Goa will be welcomed to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on October 25, Wednesday by Bengaluru FC, as the Blues gear up to retain their resounding record against Goa in the competition.

Two teams with a rich legacy in the ISL, passionate fan bases, skilful players, and seasoned tacticians will lock horns in front of the West Block Blues in one of the most keenly awaited fixtures in every season of the league.

What’s at stake?

Bengaluru FC players warm up during match 7 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between Mohun Bagan Super Giant FC and Bengaluru FC held at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on September 27, 2023. Dipayan Bose/Focus Sports/ISL

Bengaluru FC
Head coach Simon Grayson had cautioned other teams that the Blues will be a force to reckon with at home before their incredible 2-1 victory over East Bengal FC earlier this month. They came from behind to triumph and get one over their former head coach amidst a rousing reception from their supporters. The Gaurs have had a pitch perfect campaign till now but there is no way one can count Bengaluru out in their own backyard. (Read more: https://www.indiansuperleague.com/interviews/in-the-stands-ft-sunil-chhetri-part-one-the-rebellious-kid-at-school)

During Match No 12 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between FC Goa and Punjab FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on 02 October 2023. Adimazes/ISL

FC Goa
The thing with champion coaches is that they don’t waste any time in hitting the ground running. Manolo Marquez is reiterating that belief with the tremendous start to his tenure with FC Goa. They secured a convenient victory over Punjab FC, followed it up with a thrilling late winner against Odisha FC and then struck hard whilst trailing to defeat East Bengal FC on Saturday. Right from his diligent defensive setup, creative midfield play, and goal-scoring efficiency, the Gaurs have gone all in with Marquez’s ideas and are reaping the rewards of the same already. (https://www.indiansuperleague.com/news/we-were-better-in-front-of-goal-than-east-bengal-fc-fc-goas-manolo-marquez)

Key Players

Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Sunil Chhetri is cut from a different cloth and that needs no second guessing. The man relishes the big stage against major opponents and the whole of Kanteerava will be expecting a blockbuster performance from their ever inspiring skipper as he leads them out against the team that is the flavour of the season.

Udanta Singh (FC Goa)

Homecomings are always emotional and we have seen plenty of that in the last month of the ISL. However, Udanta Singh and Bengaluru have a connection so deeply entrenched and genuine that he should expect nothing less than a warm welcome in his former hunting ground. From breaking into the scenes to making it to the national team, Udanta did it all whilst plying his trade in Bengaluru. He can shine there once again, albeit in a different shirt this time around.

Head-to-Head
Played – 13
Bengaluru FC – 7
FC Goa – 3
Draws – 3


Trivia: FC Goa must be delighted with the presence of Sandesh Jhingan in their backline and the India international made the switch to the Gaurs this year from Bengaluru FC whom he represented last season.

Team Talk

Simon Grayson, Head Coach of Bengaluru FC During match 13 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between Bengaluru FC and East Bengal FC held at Sree Kanteerava Outdoor stadium in Bengaluru on October 04, 2023. Prathiksha MK /Focus Sports/ISL

“What we have tried to do is to make sure that we are working out on the training pitch and then taking those learning out on the match day situations. A lot of new players have come into the club this summer, so they are still finding their feet around the club and the league. There are some players who have never played in the league before, in this heat and conditions, so there are many circumstances in play. At the moment we are confident with what we are doing and happy with the result that we had in the last game,” Bengaluru FC tactician Grayson said in the pre-match press conference.

Press Conference photos of Match No. 19 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between East Bengal FC and FC Goa held at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on 21 October 2023. Adimazes/ISL

“I think when we are losing we need to show the football that we have. When the score was in our favour, the other day, after we scored both goals, we controlled the game very well. We kept the ball, and even had a few chances to kill the game. Against Odisha FC, even when we scored in the 96th minute, they had a chance after that. We have enough football in us to avoid these kinds of situations,” FC Goa head coach Marquez asked his team to pull their socks up and not get complacent on the back of their promising results thus far.

Where to Watch
Viacom18 is the new home of Indian football and the match between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa will kick off at 8 PM on October 25, 2023. Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 SD & HD (English), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), DD Bangla & Colors Bangla Cinema (Bengali). In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.

ISL Fantasy

Top picks & players to watch out for

Sandesh Jhingan (5.5 cr)

An impressive influence on both ends of the pitch and scored a goal in the previous match

Carlos Martinez (4.3 cr)

Efficient goal-scorer and a creative playmaker, grabbed an assist in the last game

Javi Hernandez (10.6 cr)

Notched an acrobatic overheard kick to seal the winner for Bengaluru FC against East Bengal

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation®5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, which will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at: https://fantasy.indiansuperleague.com/

Also Read: Govt. Model SSS, Chandigarh prevails on penalties to be crowned champions of Junior (U 17) Boys Subroto Cup

Also Read: MFA Super League: Bombay Gymkhana and Soccer Saga Thrill in Action-Packed Draw

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