Bengal vs Bengaluru, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Rejuvenated Bengal will face struggling Bengaluru in the important bottom-table clash of the Indian Football League 2020-21. 

Match Timings: Feb 02, 7:30 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Indian Football League, 2020-21, is in its final month, and after February, we will get four sides for the playoffs. Bengaluru will forget its last 6 weeks where they were completely a poor side. Bengaluru haven’t tasted a victory since its victory against Odisha on December 17. They are winless in the last eight matches, and during this run, Blues suffered five defeats. In draw games, they had some winning moments, but they failed to gain three points. In the last outing, Hyderabad pulled off a remarkable draw to add more wait for the victory. 

Blues started on a high note with Sunil Chhetri’s header through Cleiton Silva’s cracking free-kick. Juanan left the ground in the fifth minute, and he may take a rest from this match. Nizams had enough chances through Santana, but they didn’t get an equaliser in the first half. Santana troubled Gurpreet in the early few minutes of the second half. Blues doubled the lead in the 61st minute after a maiden strike from Leon Augustine. The young gun got a poor back-pass from Hitesh, and Leon raced to the ball to earn his emotional goal. 

Both sides made few substitutions, and Aridane Santana scored a goal in the 86th minute. It happened when Chhetri was substituted. Nizams equalised in injury-time when Fran Sandaza scored a fine goal from point-blank range. Despite playing good football, Bengaluru failed to add three points. Former winners are in the bottom four, and with six more games remaining, the Blues have to play the best game in the remainder of the tournament. The current issues put them behind in the race of playoffs. 

Meanwhile, Bengal added one point after the defeat to Mumbai, and they can be proud of its performance in the last month, where they lost just one game. In the last outing, they played a 1-1 draw against strong Goa. Bengal were awarded a penalty in the very first minute. Anthony Pilkington didn’t avail this advantage, and this shot went wide. Bright Enobakhare was in good touch, and Bengal didn’t allow Goa to attack. Despite a good start from Bengal, Goa took the lead in the 39th minute as Igor Angulo scored his 10th goal of the season 2020-21. Bright created some trouble in the final third but the first half ended in favour of Goa with a 1-0 lead. 

Pilkington got a fine cross in the 56th minute, but the Irishman’s shot was deflected over the crossbar. Danny Fox netted the equaliser in the 65th minute. Harmanpreet Singh got a chance to find a winner for Bengal, but Dheeraj showed his shot-stopping skills to assure the one point for both sides each. Bengal are still in the bottom two, and they desperately need a win here to climb up in the table. They are winless from the last four matches, and its last victory also came against the Tuesday rivals. Steinmann’s first-half strike helped Bengal to earn three points against Bengaluru. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 

Bengal 

Debjit Majumder; Rana Gharami, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Narayan Das, Ajay Chhetri, Jacques Maghoma, Mohammed Rafique, Anthony Pilkington, Bright Enobakhare, Jeje Lalpekhlua 

Current Form: D L D D W

Previous Match: 1-1 draw with Goa 

Bengaluru 

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Rahul Bheke, Juanan, Francisco Gonzalez, Erik Paartalu, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva, Suresh Wangjam, Leon Augustin, Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri 

Current Form: D D L D L 

Previous Match: 2-2 draw with Hyderabad 

Key Players 

Bengal 

Jacques Maghoma 

3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Bright Enobakhare

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Bengaluru 

Sunil Chhetri 

5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Cleiton Silva

4 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21