Bengaluru FC vs Tampines Rovers Preview
On the backdrop of a Bangalore licking it's wounds after two days of unparalleled violence, it's pantomime darling Bengaluru FC play the most important 90 minutes of its history against S-League giants Tampines Rovers. The mighty stags as they are called, have been definitely provided with the upper hand, as the game is set to take place behind closed doors, owing to the unstable situation in the city at the moment.
The game will in no means be an easy one for the Bangalore side, owing to a change in manager, they also have been witness to a change in style. From the directness under the able leadership of Ashley Westwood to the more possession based football they employed in all the pre-season games under Albert Roca.
As Albert Roca reiterated in the press conference ahead of the game, he would have liked more than the six weeks he had with the players, especially with the change in style and tactics. He said "I am happy, I am sure it is not easy for the players, but I like them, I have had to adapt a bit and the players have adapted a bit to me".
"They are very professional players, they have a lot of quality, and I hope they play to their normal ability, because if they do they, it can help us get a good result tomorrow", the former Barcelona assistant manager added.
On the other side are a team who are likely to take the game in their stride, having already played 22 games in the S-League this season. The Mighty Stags as they are popularly known had not been able to train till 9 pm on Tuesday due to the disturbance around, but their manager V. Sundramoorthy was confident that it hasn't affected the players at all.
"The situation hasn't affected us at all, the fact that we had a gruelling game two days back in the League has been a huge boost for us, so based on that we are not worried about the training session".
But when asked whether Bengaluru's surprise element with new signings and a new coach, he said, "Interesting isn't it? It can go either way actually, it might be an advantage or a disadvantage, whether they adapt to the new coach. But, yes, you can't tell, we'll see after the first fifteen minutes of the game".
Whatever may be the case, Kanteerava Stadium has been a fortress in the last two years, and playing without fans is definitely an advantage to the away side.
Bengaluru FC vs Tampines Rovers Preview Team News
The big boost for Bengaluru FC is that Udanta Singh is fit enough for the game. The man in the hot seat Albert Roca confirmed it "He won't be able to play 90 minutes, but he is an important player for us with his pace". Left-back Keegan Pereira and forward Semilen Doungel will miss the game for Bangalore due to injury.
Cameron Watson, the Australian central midfielder, and Juan Gonzalez, the Spanish defender may make their competitive debuts for the Blues. For Tampines, Fazrul Nawaz, their main man upfront will miss the game through injury.
Bengaluru FC vs Tampines Rovers Preview Predicted Lineups
Bengaluru FC (4-3-3): Amrinder Singh (GK); Rino Anto, John Johnson, Juan Gonzalez, Lalchhaunmawia Fanai ; Alwyn George, Eugenson Lyngdoh, Cameron Watson; Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri, C.K. Vineeth;
Tampines Rovers (4-4-1-1): Izwan Mahbud (GK); Shakir Hamzah, Irwan Shah, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Jufri Taha; , Jordan Webb, Izzdin Shafiq, Mustafic Fahrudin, Jermaine Pennant; Billy Mehmet; Sufian Annuar;
Bengaluru FC vs Tampines Rovers Prediction
As Albert Roca made it clear ahead of the game, the match is an 180-minute affair, so it won’t be far-fetched to see Bengaluru with a pragmatic approach. The likes of Udanta Singh and Sunil Chhetri will be important especially for their pace. The Stags will definitely aim to get an away goal to the second leg, which might prove pivotal at a later stage.
I go for a 2-1 win for the Blues.
Bengaluru FC vs Tampines Rovers Preview Match Timings and Live Stream Info
Time: The game has been preponed three hours to 4 pm
TV Telecast: The game will be telecasted on Star Sports 2 and Start Sports HD2
Live Stream: No live streams are available for the game as per AFC Regulations.Published 14 Sep 2016, 10:58 IST