Bengaluru FC have hit the right note outside the field with various initiatives, now it is time for them to do the same on the field. Last year was an unsatisfactory Indian Super League season for the the Blues because it was for the first season in their history that they did not win any silverware. They did come close, by qualifying for the playoffs but they had to remain content with a third-place.
However, despite last year’s disappointment, they decide to stick with their gaffer and retain the core of the team while adding some fresh legs and getting rid of some deadwood. Their biggest problem last season was lack of goals and the Bengaluru thinktank would like to think that they have dealt with that problem following the arrival of two new forwards, Cleiton Silva and Kristian Opseth.
Bengaluru’s true strength is its administration. It is arguably the best run club in the country and probably that is why have been able to retain the core of them. Goalkeeper, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and defender Juanan are two players who are part of that core group. To put into perspective, last season BFC conceded just 13 goals and these two can take much of the credit for that. This year they have added former Mariner Fran Gonzales and Pratik Chaudhari to bolster their defence and make up for the loss of Albert Serran.
Surprisingly, their weakness last season was their finishing. They managed to score just 24 goals. The absence of Miku was felt and captain Sunil Chhetri had to do all the heavy lifting as he ended the season with just 9 goals. BFC’s two pacy wide forwards, Udanta Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan also failed. This year they have bagged two proven goal scorers in the form of Cleiton Silva and Kristian Opseth and they would hope that these two take some load off their captain’s back.
ISL 2019-20 PERFORMANCE
It was not bad but it was not good as well. They reached the playoffs despite being one of the lowest scoring sides in the league. All thanks to their almost waterproof backline. They finished third after losing to eventual champions ATK in the semis.
MOST NOTABLE NEW SIGNINGS
Their new pair of strikers, Cleiton Silva and Kristian Opseth should excite the fans. While 33-year-old Silva is a proven goal-scorer in the Thai league with 97 goals in 157 matches, Norway born Kristian Opseth had a decent outing with A-League side Adelaide United, scoring six times for them in 21 matches. Former Mohun Bagan defender Fran Gonzales too is a decent addition to the BFC squad. Apart from being a solid defender, he pops in goals as well. He was Mohun Bagan’s joint lead goalscorer last season with 10.
HISTORY IN ISL
It is fair to say that they are one of the more successful clubs in the Indian Super League. This will be their third season and they have already won the league once and finished third in the other.
CHANCES/PREDICTION IN ISL 2020-21
You can’t ever count out Bengaluru FC at the start of the season. They might not have had a good preseason but with the squad they have, they can challenge for the silverware again this season. They should again be one of the top teams this season.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthummawia Ralte, Lara Sharma.
Defenders: Ajith Kumar, Diswa Darjee, Francisco Gonzalez, Joe Zoherliana, Juanan, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Rahul Bheke, Wungngayam Muirang.
Midfielders: Ajay Chhetri, Amay Morajkar, Cleiton Silva, Dimas Delgado, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Erik Paartalu, Harmanjot Khabra, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh.
Forwards: Deshorn Brown, Edmund Lalrindika, Kristian Opseth, Leon Augustin, Ashique Kuruniyan, Naorem Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Semboi Haokip