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Bengaluru FC set for battle as Southern neighbours come calling

Bengaluru FC midfielder Cameron Watson (L) and striker Roby Norales in training at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)

It’s being billed as the ‘derby of the south’ among many other things but coach Albert Roca says building on a winning start is the only thing on Bengaluru FC’s mind as they take on I-League debutants and state neighbours Chennai City FC at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

“Chennai City may be a game old but their squad comprises players who have competed in the I-League and they’re going to look to trouble us. This will be a tougher game than our first one. It’s important that we show the same desire as we did in our game against Lajong,” said the Spaniard while addressing the press on Friday.

The Blues put on a clinical display to dismantle Lajong 3-0 and looked solid in every position on the pitch. Since the win last week, Bengaluru FC have had additions in Honduran striker Roby Norales and India international Sandesh Jhingan. But Roca gave no clear indication on the kind of role the duo would play in the game on Saturday. “The new boys are getting used to the system and I’m not keen on rushing them. We’re going to see how this goes,” is all Roca had to offer.

It’s left to be seen whether Roca persists with young Daniel Lalhlimpuia in attack or chooses to start with either one of CK Vineeth or Norales. “We play again on Wednesday and while we’re looking to consolidate our team, there could be minor changes in certain positions,“ he added.

While Bengaluru broke no sweat in their opener, Chennai played out a 0-0 draw with fellow League debutants Minerva Punjab FC last week. Captained by former Mohun Bagan and Mahindra United defender Dharmaraj Ravanan, Chennai have some experienced hands in Denson Devadas, Zakeer Mundampara and Karanjit Singh who Chennai will turn to as they look to give a good account of themselves against the champions.

The game also marks the return of former Bengaluru midfielder Darren Caldeira who came on as a second-half substitute last weekend for Chennai.

The game kicks off at 19.00 IST and will be televised live on Ten 2.

(Bengaluru FC Press Release)