Match No. 3 of the Indian Super League sees FC Goa take on Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda Stadium.
The seventh season of the Indian Super League kicked off a few days ago with ATK Mohun Bagan edging past Kerala Blasters. The entire tournament will be played in a bio-bubble secure environment in Goa, owing to global COVID-19 pandemic.
FC Goa Preview
Last season's ISL Shield winners FC Goa parted ways with Hugo Boumous, Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, and captain Mandar Rao Dessai who joined Mumbai City FC along with coach Sergio Lobera. The departing players — and coach — formed the backbone of their success in past seasons.
The side is younger this season. However, The team has a strong and experienced foreign department. after they managed to rope in players who have experience of playing in various leagues across the globe. New coach Juan Ferrando will have to make difficult calls on which player to choose in his starting lineup.
When compared to other teams, FC Goa is a weaker side on paper. Goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz was a key player between the sticks last season, and is the team's first-choice goalkeeper for ISL 2020-21 as well.
Bengaluru FC Preview
The Sunil Chhetri led-side have always been one among the strongest sides in the history of ISL, and are expected to make it to the playoffs once again. The team has an equally balanced side in all areas of the game.
Bengaluru FC have been sticking to almost the same squad with minor changes every season. With players like Rahul Bheke, Pratik Chaudhari, Harmanjot Khabra and Spanish defender Junanan in the defense, we can expect this side to concede the least goals this season as well.
India's 'Wall', Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, has been the best goalkeeper in the league since his return to India after a stint with Swedish side Stabæk Fotball. His experience with the European club has come in handy for the Bangalore based franchise.
Moreover, Bengaluru FC is blessed with India's best striker, Sunil Chhetri, who is known for his leadership and goal-scoring abilities. The team has filled up their ranks by retaining their top foreign players, and are expected to give their rivals a tough fight in the title race.
ISL 2020-21: FCG vs BFC Match Prediction
Bengaluru FC have won five out of the seven matches they've played against FC Goa, while Goa have just one win against Bengaluru FC. Having retained their core squad for this season, the Bangalore based franchise will go into this fixture as favourites.
FC Goa have a young squad this season, and thus the onus will be on the experienced foreign players to step up to the mark, and guide the team to a victory in their opening game of the season.
Igor Angulo was fantastic with Górnik Zabrze last season. The Spanish striker will look to continue his rich vein of form, and is the one to watch out for against Bengaluru FC.
The Blues posses a balanced squad and will field in a strong lineup in their opening game, while FC Goa will have difficult choices that need to be made with respect to selecting the Indian players for today's game.