Bengaluru FC failed to live up to expectations in the previous season of the Indian Super League (ISL) as they finished on the seventh spot in the league table. After a string of disappointing results, Carles Cuadrat departed the club on mutual consent but the performances hardly improved under interim manager Naushad Moosa. In 11 matches, he managed to win just two games which forced the club to name a new head coach in Marco Pezzaiuoli who took over the reins after the ISL season.
They have made wholesale changes to the squad as well with five new overseas signings. Their Indian contingent has also been reinforced by some fresh faces in Jayesh Rane, Rohit Kumar, and Danish Farooq in midfield, Bidyasagar Singh and Harmanpreet Singh in attack, and Sarthak Golui in defence.
Let us have a look at Bengaluru FC’s squad. Editors’ Picks
Bengaluru FC SquadGoalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh, Lara Sharma, Sharon Padattil.
Defenders: Alan Costa, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang, Sarthak Golui, Ajith Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Shrivas, Yrondu Musavu-King, Biswa Darjee, Roshan Naorem.
Midfielders: Ajay Chhetri, Bruno Silva, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Danish Farooq, Iman Basafa, Jayesh Rane, Rohit Kumar, Suresh Wangjam.
Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Bidyasagar Singh, Cleiton Silva, Edmund Lalrindika, Harmanpreet Singh, Leon Augustine, Prince Ibara, Sivashakti Narayanan, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh.
What are the strengths of Bengaluru FC? Marco Pezzaiuoli has been with the team for quite a few months now. Although the performances in the AFC Cup were a disappointment, it provided a platform for the new coach to gauge the side and make the necessary adjustments for ISL. So, when some of the other sides might struggle initially to settle down under a new coach, Bengaluru can skip that bit.
In Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri, and Prince Ibara, they have a good attacking line-up. The Bengaluru FC skipper, despite his age, shows no signs of slowing down and a lot will rest on his form. They also have resources on the bench in Edmund Lalrindika, Sivasakti Narayanan who will be raring to make an impact coming off the bench. Sivasakthi has scored for fun in the domestic youth leagues and is a future prospect for the Blues.
In Suresh Wangjam, Bruno Ramires, and Iranian Iman Basafa, they have enough resources in the centre of the park. This midfield trio is key to Bengaluru’s hopes of resurrection after the departures of Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado. Wangjam has excelled in national colours and will hope to continue his form in ISL as well. Meanwhile, Ramires can be expected to control the tempo with his composure and wide range of passing skills. He played 1117 minutes in the Portuguese top-tier league in the previous season and was a key member for Belenenses.
Whereas, under the sticks they have Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the first choice keeper of the Indian national team who is arguably the best goalkeeper in the country.
What are the weaknesses of Bengaluru FC? Although they have got two overseas centre backs in Alan Costa and Yrondu Musavu-King, they failed to provide stability against ATK Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup match where the Blues went down by 2-0. They also lack a dependable Indian centre-back. Both Pratik Chaudhari and Sathak Golui are prone to errors and are not comfortable with the ball at their feet.
Moreover, Ashique Kuruniyan is yet to get back his best form after returning from injury. The other wing-back options in Roshan Singh, Parag Srivas and Ajith Kumar are not convincing either. So, it remains a challenge for Pezzaiuoli to organise his defence. Plus, Ashique’s best position is in attack and it might do no good to both the player and the club if he is continued to be deployed as a left-back.
Who are the key players of Bengaluru FC? The three key players of Bengaluru FC who might be the difference-makers are Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Bruno Ramires. What are the fixtures of Bengaluru FC? Date Fixture Time Venue November 20 Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC 19:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim November 24 Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC 19:30 Tilak Maidan Stadium November 28 Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters 19:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim December 04 Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai City FC 21:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim December 08 Hyderabad FC vs Bengaluru FC 19:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim December 11 FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC 21:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim December 16 Bengaluru FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan 19:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim December 20 Jamshedpur FC vs Bengaluru FC 19:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim December 30 Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC 19:30 Tilak Maidan Stadium January 4 Bengaluru FC vs SC East Bengal 19:30 Athletic Stadium, Bambolim