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  • Monday, May, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 07:19:56
  • It has been a rough start for FC Goa this season in the Hero Indian Super League. Whilst the Gaurs were finally able to get off the mark in their last game against SC East Bengal courtesy of a 4-3 win, their defense continued to struggle.

    Juan Ferrando has seen his side concede 11 goals in the first 3 games, the highest in club history through the first 4 games. The Spaniard, though, doesn’t feel that the backline is the main concern for the side heading into Saturday’s game against Bengaluru FC.

    “From my point of view, the main problem is not the defense,” stated Ferrando. “All players have the responsibility to attack and defend, depending on the moment of the game. Therefore, we are working on general aspects and details in this regard.”

    One of the main aspects of the Gaurs’ struggles in terms of defending has been from set-pieces. Ferrando weighed in on that aspect of the game, saying, “Obviously I am concerned about our execution in terms of defending set pieces. However, I feel that firstly it is more important to improve the players’ confidence in these situations during matches.”

    Bengaluru, a very respected opponent

    In Bengaluru, FC Goa will be up against a side that the Gaurs don’t have many fond memories of playing against. In fact, their win over the Blues in their penultimate league game of last season was only their second victory over Bengaluru in their 9 meetings. 

    However, whilst Goa will look to build on their first of the campaign, Bengaluru’s fortunes have taken a downswing off late following a win in their season opener. The Blues are winless in their last four with three losses to their name during the same period.

    Speaking on their opponent ahead of Saturday’s encounter Ferrando said, “Bengaluru are one of the best teams in the ISL, I have the utmost respect for the group and its players, highlighting Cleiton (Silva) and (Sunil) Chettri as references.”

    Whilte there remains mutual respect between the sides, Goa will look to pile on the misery on the Blues when they clash on Saturday night. A win will see the Gaurs not only build further momentum, but also will propel them to the middle of the pack in the league table.

    FC Goa vs. Bengaluru FC : 10 things to know about the game

    ~ Gaurs look to build upon their win over SC East Bengal earlier this week ~

    Goa : FC Goa’s clash against Bengaluru FC on Saturday night represents Juan Ferrando’s men with the opportunity to build further momentum. The Gaurs showed both grit and guile to overcome SC East Bengal 4-3 earlier this week in a game that saw Goa take the lead on four separate occasions.

    The win, the first of the season for FC Goa was a timely boost for the Men in Orange after enduring a torrid start to the season owing to three losses in as many games to begin their campaign.

    Juan Ferrando, the FC Goa head coach, spoke of the shot in the arm that his team received after capturing their first three points.

    “In high performance sports like ours, you work to win, so the 3 points help us to better face the preparation of the next game,” the Spaniard stated.

    The gaffer reverted to a change in tactical approach following the dismal showing in the opening games. He, however, felt that tactics were not the most important aspect in effecting the turnaround.

    “I’m happy with the attitude shown by the players. After three defeats, teams tend to lose strength psychologically, but we kept fighting,” opined Ferrando. “I congratulate the attitude of the foreign players, the non-regulars in the starting 11 and those on the bench. In this case, for me, the system and tactics are secondary.”

    With Bengaluru reeling from consecutive defeats in their last two games, this gives the Gaurs the perfect opportunity to further inflict damage on the Blues. Another three points will not move the Gaurs to midtable but also provide a much-needed kickstart to their campaign.

    Heading into this fascinating fixture, here are 10 things you should know about the game:  

    0 – FC Goa have never kept a clean sheet against Bengaluru. The only time the Blues failed to find the back of the net in the regulation 90 minutes was in the ISL final of the 2018/19 season where a Rahul Bheke goal in the 117th minute helped them script a win.

    4 – Having missed the majority of the pre season owing to an injury sustained in the Durand Cup and beginning the season from the bench, Jorge Ortiz has started to come into his own in the last two games. The fleet-footed Spanish forward has raked up 4 goal contributions 

    8 –  Bengaluru FC have been the first to score in 8 of the last 9 games the two sides have come up against each other. The only time the Gaurs did score first was in their penultimate league game of last season, when Juan Ferrando saw his men come out 2-1 winners.

    9 – Bengaluru FC have not been able to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 9 games. The last the Blues were able to blank a side was on February 5, 2021 when they played out a goalless draw against Chennaiyin FC. The Gaurs are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

    13 – One expects Saturday night’s clash to be a high intensity one with high pressing a norm. The two sides lead the league in Challenge Intensity Index (Number of challenges and interceptions made by defending team per minute opponent’s ball possession). While FC Goa lead the league with 13, Bengaluru FC are a close second at 12.3.

    26 – Alberto Noguera’s brace in the last game was the first time an FC Goa player playing as a midfielder has scored more than one 1 goal in a game in 26 ISL matches. Hugo Boumous was the last player to do so when he scored twice in the 5-0 drubbing of Jamshedpur FC in the last league game of the 2019/20 season.

    53 –  Only Hyderabad FC records more interceptions in a game than Bengaluru. The Blues average 53 interceptions per game. FC Goa, on the other hand, have recorded only 41 interceptions per game through their first 4 games. Only Jamshedpur FC have a lower number. 

    68 – Saturday night’s game will pit two sides in the ISL with the highest possession during games. FC Goa, on average enjoy 66% of the possession while Bengaluru are second in the league with an average percentage of possession of 60%.

    90 – Only Hyderabad FC (93) launch more attacks than FC Goa (90) per game in the ISL this season. Bengaluru are a close third 88 attacks per game to their name.

    543 – FC Goa leads the league in terms of number of passes per game (543) with Bengaluru a close second with 460 per game. The Gaurs also lead the league in terms of pass accuracy at 85%.

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