NEUFC face B’luru

Bengaluru: Boasting of five India internationals in their ranks, including talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri, a formidable Bengaluru FC will begin their quest for title defence when they take on NorthEast United in their opening Indian Super League match here on Monday.
The Bengaluru-based side have been synonymous with consistency in India domestic football history. After three years of success in the I-League, they joined ISL in 2017 and made an instant impact. Guided by Spanish coach Albert Roca, they put up a splendid show in their first season and topped the league phase standings though they suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final to Chennaiyin FC at home. The next season (2018), Bengaluru had Roca’s protege Carles Cuadrat under whom they defeated FC Goa to clinch their maiden ISL title. With a clutch of new signings and retention of key players, particularly domestic, Bengaluru look set to dominate again this season. They roped in India midfielder Ashique Kuruniyan this season. With an all-Indian attacking line-up of Chhetri, Udanta Singh and now Kuruniyan, the defending champions look formidable on paper. It will not be easy for the home side to beat NorthEast United on Monday. Despite the departure of some key players of the previous season, NorthEast United have made some big signing, including high profile Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan. Meanwhile, NorthEast United coach Robert Jarni also felt that the changes Bengaluru FC have made to their squad will pose some trouble for the Highlanders. “Bengaluru have made some changes from last season. Also, we have some new players. We believe that we can do something good against them.”He added (PTI)


Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Juanan, Nishu Kumar, Dimas Delgado, Harmanjot Khabra, Udanta Singh, Raphael Augusto, Sunil Chhetri, Manuel Onwu

NorthEast United FC: Pawan Kumar (GK), Provat Lakra, Kai Heerings, Mislav Komorski, Shouvik Ghosh, Jose Leudo, Milan Singh, Redeem Tlang, Panagiotis Triadis, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Asamoah Gyan

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