Bengaluru: In what’s being billed as a clash of matching philosophies, Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC will come up against Cesar Ferrando’s Jamshedpur FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Sunday, with both teams having the chance to get a feel of pole position on the table, early in the season.
Cuadrat got life as Bengaluru FC manager in the ISL, off to the perfect start when the Blues beat defending champions Chennaiyin FC 1-0 in the season-opener at the Fortress last Sunday.
Jamshedpur, meanwhile, come into this fixture on the back of a 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC, away from home where debutants Mario Arques and Pablo Morgado got on the score sheet. Ferrando’s side looked comfortable moving the ball around and their flanks did more than just ruffle the feathers of the Mumbai defence.
The same fixture last season had former Bengaluru coach Albert Roca clutching his trousers in despair as he watched his team’s domination come undone by a 90th-minute penalty that Matheus Trindade slotted home.
However, much has changed on the Jamshedpur roster since then and Cuadrat is certain that last season won’t be an accurate marker of the opposition his team will face on the day. “Jamshedpur now have a Spanish coach who comes in with a wealth of experience and there are four new Spanish players which changes so much. We watched the game the played against Mumbai and like us, they like to move the ball around which makes our game very interesting from a tactical point of view,” said Cuadrat while addressing the media on the eve of the game.
Sunday’s tie against Bengaluru could also mark the Indian Super League debut of Australian star, Tim Cahill, who sat out against Mumbai owing to a suspension he picked up in his last competitive game in England. And with Sunil Chhetri on the other side, the game looks set to get more than just a touch of attacking royalty.
Cuadrat, who has engineered a number of Bengaluru FC goals by way of set-pieces, says his team will have to wary of the same threat. “Cahill and Tiri are good in the air, so we have to be careful about those situations. Albert (Serran) and Juanan (Gonzalez) seemed to find some good rhythm in defence and I’m sure we will iron out the small struggles that we faced at the back in some phases of the game last Sunday,” added Cuadrat.
In team news, Subrata Paul continues to serve a three-game suspension he received for an incident involving players from Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa in an ill-tempered Super Cup clash in April. Meanwhile Blues midfielder, Dimas Delgado, who missed the game against Chennaiyin with a groin injury, has made steady progress and could be a decision that Cuadrat leaves late.
The game kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be broadcast on the Star Sports network, HotStar and Jio TV.