BANGALORE: After a week of exciting football away from home, Bengaluru FC is back in the fortress as they take on the new entrant in Indian football, Bharat FC in a Round 5 Hero I-League match on Sunday evening.
It can be again termed as a clash between the two professional clubs. Winning the last edition of I League and Hero Federation Cup this year, Jindal Steel backed Bengaluru FC have already proved their presence in Indian football. Another corporate-backed team from Pune made their debut this year – Bharat FC promoted by the Kalyani Group.
The Steelmen perhaps didn’t make the best start in the Hero I-League this season, only a point in two home matches, however their matches away from home have contributed more positives – a hard fought loss against East Bengal after dominating the first half and a thumping win against the then league leaders Royal Wahingdoh.
Not to forget another valiant outing in AFC Champions League preliminary play-off tie against Johor Darul Ta’zim in Malaysia, which they went down in extra time.
Bharat FC too did not have an ideal start to their Hero I-League campaign. With only a point from two matches, they surely would look to add a few from this away encounter.
They have a strong Bangalore presence in their team. Crowd cheering the local heroes can work for Bharat FC. The midfielders – attacking medio Gunashekar Vignesh, defensive medio Jayashelan Prasad, and Lester Fernandez are Namma-Bangalore boys, and so is their assistant coach Stanly Rozario.
Speaking to the press today afternoon, the Bengaluru FC gaffer gave a brief account of AFC Champions League play-off experience. He will be fielding a fully fit team sans injury or card problems. “We are ready for our first win of the season on home turf”, assures Ashley.
Bharat FCs English coach from Wolverhampton Stuart Watkiss is trying to get a feel of Indian football. It will take few more matches for him to come up with an absolute strategy. He’s looked content with the current squad, which is, for now without a fourth foreigner. They’ve signed few good players on loan.
Captain Gourmangi Singh looks uncertain for the match, and the coach will take a decision tomorrow morning only after a fitness test.
The match between Bengaluru FC and Bharat FC is slated to start tomorrow, Sunday, 7 PM, Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore.
KO: Feb 7 @ 7 pm IST (Ten Action)