Bengaluru vs Goa: Preview and Prediction
Goa is currently on a three-match winning streak while Bengaluru has secured only a single victory. As a result, Sunil Chettri’s side is currently in the ninth spot in the ISL table while the Gaurs are second in the league standings.
The Blues started their 2023-24 Indian Super League campaign against the likes of Kerala Blasters with a loss. Keziah Veendorp’s own goal and Adrian Luna’s spectacular strike helped the Tuskers attain a win-securing lead. Bengaluru fans witnessed another negative outcome as the Blues suffered their second defeat of the season against Mohun Bagan SG.
Playing at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Kirirangan in Kolkata, Hugo Boumous was the only goalscorer of the match. On the other hand, Bengaluru’s Suresh Singh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh were sent off during the second half leaving the side down to nine men.
Playing against East Bengal on Matchday 4, the Blues defeated East Bengal at their home stadium. Naorem Mahesh Singh gave the Red and Yellow Brigade an early lead, however, Sunil Chettri and Javi Hernández’s strikes helped Bengaluru record their second victory.
On the other side, the Gaurs got off to a blazing start. Goa played its first match against ISL’s new entrants, Punjab. Carlos Martinez’s first-half goal helped Manolo Marquez’s side seal the victory with a narrow lead of 1-0.
The Kalinga Warriors also failed to hinder Goa’s winning streak with a thrilling victory. Mourtada Fall scored a brace for Odisha but a brace from Noah Sadoui and a later winner by Jay Gupta helped the Gaurs grasp their second victory of the competition.
In the third match, despite the valiant efforts of Naorem Mahesh Singh, East Bengal also lost against Goa. Two quick goals in the second half by Sandesh Jhingan and Victor Rodriguez emerged as the ultimate difference between the two sides. The Gaurs won the match 2-1.
Bengaluru and Goa have locked horns for a total of 13 times across different competitions. The Blues were initially an I-League side and they transitioned into the Indian Super League in 2014. In the initial years of their arrival in the top-tier Indian football, they were among the top guns of the football in the sub-continent.
However, they eventually failed to continue the momentum and stay on top. The reasons behind the partial downfall were many such as the departure of veterans and the introduction of other former I-League outfits such as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
Despite everything, Bengaluru still has been dominant in the rivalry according to the head-to-head record of the teams. The Blues have recorded seven wins while three Gaurs have managed to defeat Bengaluru only thrice. The remaining three games between the two sides have ended in a draw.
After two consecutive losses, the Blues finally managed to win their first match in the 2023-24 season of the Indian Super League against East Bengal. Hence, they’ll be looking forward to continuing the winning momentum against the Gaurs and they’ll be facing Goa with full strength. No injuries or suspensions have been recorded from Simon Grayson’s side.
Noah Sadaoui picked up an injury in the build-up to the Gaurs’ recent fixture against East Bengal and was replaced at the last moment by Victor Rodriguez who did well to score a goal and impress the head coach with his work rate as well.
Head coach Marquez gave an update on the fitness of the players. He said,
“Yeah, Noah is definitely out. Brandon is in pain because it’s an injury in the elbow. We will train today and tomorrow before taking a final decision on matchday. There is a reason that the squad is of more than 11 players because of untimely injuries and bans.”
Bengaluru (4-3-2-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Jessel Carneiro, Slavko Damjanovic, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Parag Shrivas, Rohit Kumar, Suresh Singh, Javi Hernandez, Namgyal Bhutia, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Curtis Main
Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh, Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Sandesh Jhingan, Jay Gupta, Rowllin Borges, Carl McHugh, Brandon Fernandes, Udanta Singh, Victor Rodriguez, Carlos Martinez
Bengaluru have recently recorded their first win of the season. Hence, they’ll be carrying confidence against the Gaurs. However, considering the current form of Manolo Márquez’s side, Goa acquires a better chance of winning the match.