ISL Final - formation prediction & possible lineups

Bengaluru FC is most likely to play a 4-3-3 formation, which has worked wonders for the side this season.

Bengaluru FC is most likely to play a 4-3-3 formation, which has worked wonders for the side this season. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who has an impressive seven clean sheets to his name, will be backed by the effective defensive trio of John Johnson, Juanan and Rahul Bheke, who are likely to be joined by Nishu Kumar, given that regular choice Subasish Bose will miss out due to suspension.

Bengaluru's creative midfield will see the likes of Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado, and Boithang Haokip, who have done well as a combination. Paartalu, who stands tall at 1.93m, will play an essential role in defending set-pieces, as Chennaiyin is known to score from such situations.

Read: Bengaluru and Chennai lock horns for final glory

The attacking front will be headed by captain Sunil Chhetri, who will feature on the left, while BFC top-scorer Miku will play down the centre and the pacy Udanta Singh will occupy the right flank.

However, given that Chennaiyin does a majority of its attacking through the wings, Albert Roca could switch to a 3-5-2 formation to cut down movement along the flanks, pushing Bheke ahead and bringing Udanta a little closer to the half-line.

John Gregory is mostly to stick to his side's tried and tested 4-4-2 formation. Chennaiyin FC's defence has been the side's strength this season, having registered eight clean sheets and conceded only 20 goals in 20 games, the third lowest in the league. Karanjit Singh will most certainly be the pillar between the posts, and he has been ably supported by the likes of veteran Inigo Calderon, captain Henrique Sereno, Brazilian Mailson Alves and youngster Jerry Lalrinzuala, who have held fort when it mattered the most.

Chennaiyin FC players during a practice session ahead of the final match of ISL 2018.   -  PTI

The four defenders have a great sense of understanding among them, which was visible when they completely shunned the potent FC Goa attacking duo of Manuel Lanzarote and Ferran Corominas in the semis. The quartet will aim to repeat their feat against the likes of Chhetri and Miku in the final.

Experienced Dutchman Gregory Nelson – who assisted 3 out of 4 of Chennaiyin's goals in the semis – will take his preferred position on the left wing. Fransico Fernandes, who injects some much-needed pace into the side, will take the right flank while Dhanapal Ganesh and Bikramjit Singh will play down the middle.

Jeje Lalpekhlua, who is in red-hot form after scoring a brace in his last match, will lead the attack. He will be supported by the stylish and creative Brazilian Raphael Augusto. The two forwards had played an indispensable role in Chennaiyin's title-triumph in 2015 and will look to emulate their success on Saturday.

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