ISL 2020-21: New-look FC Goa takes on Chhetri's Bengaluru FC

ISL 2020: Having undergone a massive overhaul, FC Goa will start its Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) campaign against Bengaluru FC at Fatorda Stadium on Sunday.

FC Goa

FC Goa's players and staff during a training session ahead of their Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) season-opener against Bengaluru FC.   -  Twitter @FCGoaOfficial

A new look FC Goa takes on fancied Bengaluru FC in its opening Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) match at Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Sunday.

FC Goa has lost several of its key players - the likes of prolific striker Ferran Corominas, exciting midfielder Hugo Boumous, and Ahmed Jahouh - to transfers. Head coach Juan Ferrando, who only recently took the helm, has had little time to get the team ready.

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FC Goa, which has won just one game in the seven outings between the two sides, will be keen to correct the dismal record. "I know the history of Bengaluru FC against FC Goa. I know what happened in the last games. But this is a new team, a new chapter, a new moment," Ferrando said in a virtual press conference on Saturday.

LISTEN to our preview of the 2020-21 edition of the Indian Super League

In Igor Angulo, Ferrando has a quality replacement for Corominas. With 24 goals for Gornik Zabrze, the Spanish striker topped the goal-scorers list in the 2018-19 Polish top division.

Angulo may not find it as easy to flourish on Sunday, given that Bengaluru boasts of an enviable defensive record. The side conceded only 13 goals in the league stage last season, the least for any team, while goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu kept a record 11 clean sheets. Juanan and Fran Gonzales - a new signing from Mohun Bagan - will be a hard centre-back pairing to crack.

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There is one weakness that BFC must quickly address. The departure of Venezuelan forward Miku in 2019 has left Sunil Chhetri with too heavy a burden to carry. The likes of Jamaican Deshorn Brown, Brazilian Cleiton Silva and Norwegian Kristian Opseth must come good if BFC hopes to pose a serious attacking threat.

 

Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat acknowledged the room for improvement.

“We were challenging for trophies last season, but it was not good enough. We had a lot of clean sheets and didn’t concede, but in attack, we were lacking. The statistics show that we created the most number of chances among all teams, but it is not about creating chances, it is about scoring goals,” Cuadrat said.

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“We have been planning and scouting to be more clinical in front of goal. If you look at Friday’s game (ATK Mohun Bagan-Kerala Blasters), Kerala missed a couple of chances, while ATK was more clinical and won the match. Scoring goals is the most important thing in football,” he added.

The squads:

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FC Goa - Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Dylan D'Silva, Shubham Dhas, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Seriton Fernandes, Aibanbha Dohling, Leander D'Cunha, Mohamed Ali, Sanson Pereira, Sarineo Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Edu Bedia, Flan Gomes, Jorge Ortiz, Brandon Fernandes, Alberto Noguera, Lenny Rodrigues, Redeem Tlang, Seiminlen Doungel, Nestor Dias, Phrangki Buam, Princeton Rebello, Alexander Jesuraj, Makan Chothe, Igor Angulo, Ishan Pandita, Aaren D'Silva, Devendra Murgaonkar.

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Bengaluru FC - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lara Sharma, Dipesh Chauhan, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Fran Gonzalez, Harmanjot Khabra, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang, Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Naorem Roshan Singh, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Cleiton Silva, Ashique Kuruniyan, Deshorn Brown, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip.

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