ISL 2017: Predicted XI for Bengaluru FC
Will history repeat itself for the new superpowers of Indian football? This is the question on everyone's mind at the moment as Bengaluru FC get ready to make their much-awaited debut in the Indian Super League (ISL). The Blues won it in the first time of asking in the I-League and are expected to challenge for the top honours this time around in the ISL.
Though the Indian players' draft changed the complexion of a strong Bengaluru FC side, some brilliant work done in the transfers department has ensured that the side from the tech city does have a strong unit.
Ahead of the next season, let's predict how will Bengaluru FC lineup this season in what will be their strongest possible XI:
Goalkeeper and defenders
Goalkeeper: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Signing India's number one custodian was considered to be a master move by the Blues and one which would have a huge impact in the league proceedings. Quick off his line along with having quick reflexes, Sandhu is the best in the business and instantly makes Bengaluru FC a fearful unit.
Right back: Rahul Bheke
The fullback was picked up by Bengaluru in the draft and has made regular appearances in the AFC Cup. Playing as a part of a back three and also as a right back gives manager Albert Roca plenty of reasons to give Bheke a starting role in a majority of the games.
Centre back: John Johnson
The no-nonsense defender has been the mainstay of this Bengaluru FC side since its inception. He is a crowd favourite at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and is on course to make an impact in the ISL. Johnson is a Middlesbrough academy product and has settled well in Indian football since the past four years.
Centre back: Juanan
Signed last year, the Real Madrid Castilla product has done tremendously well since his debut and has often won plaudits for his fearless approach to the game. He is good in possession and often helps the Blues start out attack from the back. Juanan was also influential in Bengaluru's Federation Cup win last season.
Left back: Nishu Kumar
The 19-year-old has made an instant impression with the Blues and his fine performances have also landed him an international cap with India. Kumar loves to bombard forward but also has a knack of taking good positions in defence. He started out as a center back during his formative years and hence, has a good understanding of the defensive side of the game.