Both FC Goa and Bengaluru FC lost in the ISL semifinals last year, to Chennaiyin FC and ATK respectively. While Goa lost a crazy game 6-5 on aggregate, Bengaluru FC lost 3-2 on aggregate, after a David Williams brace in the second leg.
FC Goa were the league's top goal-scorers last season, while Bengaluru FC had the best defence. Even with Ferrando replacing Sergio Lobera, Goa promise to not compromise on the style and ethos that Lobera had installed at the club.
For Bengaluru, they will hope that the additions they made to their squad over the summer pay dividends, and make them a more threatening attacking side from open-play.
FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC Head-to-Head
FC Goa have only beaten Bengaluru FC once, and that was in the first meeting between these two teams, when Ferran Corominas scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 win at Fatorda..
Since then, Bengaluru FC have beaten FC Goa five times, and drawn once.
Last season at Fatorda, these two teams played out a 1-1 draw. Udanta Singh opened the scoring for Bengaluru FC in the second half, but Coro equalised with a late penalty. At the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, a Sunil Chhetri brace inspired Bengaluru FC to a 2-1 win.
FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC Team News
FC Goa have Igor Angulo trying to fill the massive shoes left behind by Coro, the ISL's all-time top-scorer.
With Angulo leading the line, he is expected to have Jorge Ortiz and Len Doungel alongside him, with Brandon Fernandes probably slotting in as the no.10.
Edu Bedia and Lenny Rodrigues will attempt to form a strong midfield base for FC Goa to build from. Seriton Fernandes has been an ever-present at right-back in the last three seasons, and will continue in that position, but change will be afoot at left-back, with Mandar Rao Dessai having left FC Goa to join Mumbai City FC.
Saviour Gama will start the season at left-back, with Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie at centre-back.
For Bengaluru FC, Carles Cuadrat has question-marks over a couple of spots in his starting XI at the moment. New signing Ajith Kumar is likely to vie for the left-back slot with Ashique Kuruniyan. The Kerala man will not have fond memories of playing at left-back against Goa at Fatorda, having conceded a silly penalty in stoppage time last season.
Pratik Chaudhari was signed from Mumbai City FC, and he will vie for a starting spot in the centre of defence with Fran Gonzalez. Either of those two will partner Juanan at the back for Bengaluru FC.
Both Cleiton Silva and Kristian Opseth are likely to start in attack for Bengaluru FC, alongside Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh.
FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC Predicted XI
FC Goa Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Mohammad Nawaz; Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Saviour Gama; Edu Bedia, Lenny Rodrigues; Seiminlen Doungel, Brandon Fernandes, Jorge Ortiz Mendoza; Igor Angulo
Bengaluru FC Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Rahul Bheke, Fran Gonzalez, Juanan Gonzalez, Ashique Kuruniyan; Erik Paartalu, Suresh Singh Wangjam; Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri; Kristian Opseth
FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC Prediction
With this being the first game of the season for these teams, there is likely to be tentativeness to begin with. We are predicting a draw in a match that will be used to bring the two sides up to the intensity required for the ISL.
Prediction: FC Goa 1-1 Bengaluru FCPublished 21 Nov 2020, 11:39 IST