Bengaluru FC will start as favorites against NorthEast United FC Saturday in their opening match of the Indian Super League at the GMC Athletics Stadium, in Bambolim. The Blues had a tough preseason and coach Marco Pezzaiuoli said his team was looking forward to taking on last season’s semi-finalists. “NorthEast United are a good team with a strong group of players and a coach who motivates them from the sidelines. They reached the semi-finals last year, and as much as we do not want to look back on previous results, we have to thank them. respect as an opponent, ”Pezzaiuoli told the media on the eve of the match.
“They have a lot of quality players, and we will have to do well against them.” Bengaluru’s foreign players for the season include Brazilians Alan Costa, Bruno Ramires and Cleiton Silva, Iranian midfielder Iman Basafa, Congolese striker Prince Ibara and Gabonese midfielder Yrondu Musavu-King.
“Our team for this season is a good mix of experience and youth, and they have learned very well over the last few months. They understand what we expect from them, and it’s great to see how they have improved tactics in the course of pre-season.
“Our young players are also developing well, and we look forward to seeing them play a role in the ISL,” Pezzaiuoli said.
The German-born Italian, who joined the Blues as head coach towards the end of last season, has confirmed that although his foreign recruits were available for selection, there are injuries for some Indian players ahead of the opening match.
“As you know, Harmanpreet has not yet joined the group due to his knee injury and Parag injured his elbow a few weeks ago, and will take time to recover. Akashdeep (Singh) and Rohit (Kumar) were also injured, and will not be available for the first match, ”Pezzaiuoli confirmed.
NorthEast United, who finished last season in the playoffs, will be led by head coach Khalid Jamil, and will look to the services of Jamaican goal scorer Deshorn Brown and Martinique International Mathias Coureur.
In defense of the Highlanders is the summer signing, Australian Patrick Flottman, while former Mumbai City FC midfielder Hernan Santana may also appear in the middle of the park.