Indian Super League (ISL) season 5 champions Bengaluru FC (BFC) start their ISL 2020-21 campaign with a crunch fixture against FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on November 22.
A replay of the ISL 2018-19 final, the FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC clash promises to be an entertaining curtain lifter to the new season for both the teams, known for their flair and attacking intent.
Led by India icon Sunil Chhetri, Bengaluru FC have been one of the most consistent performers in Indian football in the last decade. Before making their bow in the ISL in 2017, BFC have been two-time I-League champions.
They have also been terrific on the ISL stage, finishing runners ups in their maiden 2017-18 campaign before winning the ISL title in 2018-19. Last season, Bengaluru lost out to eventual champions ATK, by a 3-2 aggregate in the two-legged semi-finals.
For most teams, a semi-final appearance may mark a substantial achievement but for serial winners Bengaluru FC, last season was more of a missed opportunity to stamp their domination in Indian football's highest stage.
In ISL 2020-21, expect Spanish head coach Carles Cuadrat's team to go all out in a bid to reclaim the title they lost last season.
Bengaluru FC also have the squad to push for the crown, with the team featuring some of the biggest names in Indian football like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Udanta Singh, Rahul Bheke and Ashique Kuruniyan.
Though central defender Albert Serran has left the club, Juanan has been retained and will be joined by fellow Spaniard Fran Gonzalez, who was arguably Mohun Bagan's most impressive player during their I-League 2019-20 triumph, in the backline.
In the middle of the park, Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado are all set to continue their partnership which has worked out brilliantly for BFC in the past few years. Highly-rated Indian youngster Suresh Singh Wangjam's breakthrough last season only adds to the midfield options, which also includes the very experienced and versatile Harmanjot Khabra.
With their foreign strikers failing to fire last season, Bengaluru FC had to rely heavily on Sunil Chhetri to come up with the goals. But the 35-year-old can count on more support in ISL 2020-21 with the addition of Norwegian frontman Kristian Opseth and Brazilian attacker Cleiton Silva.
The latter, in particular, has been a goal machine in the highly-competitive Thai League for several years and will be looking to impress in his debut campaign in India. Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown is the seventh forward in the squad.
According to the BFC match schedule, the team will play a total of 10 matches until January 11. Rest of the fixtures will be announced later.
Bengaluru FC schedule, ISL 2020-21 fixtures, dates and match times
All times are in Indian Standard Time (IST)
Sunday, November 22
FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC - 7:30 PM IST
Saturday, November 28
Bengaluru FC vs Hyderabad FC - 7:30 PM IST
Friday, December 4
Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC - 7:30 PM IST
Tuesday, December 8
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC - 7:30 PM IST
Sunday, December 13
Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters - 7:30 PM IST
Thursday, December 17
Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC - 7:30 PM IST
Monday, December 21
ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC - 7:30 PM IST
Monday, December 28
Bengaluru FC vs Jamshedpur FC - 7:30 PM IST
Tuesday, January 5
Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai City FC - 7:30 PM IST
Saturday, January 9
Bengaluru FC vs SC East Bengal - 7:30 PM IST
Note: All dates and times are tentative and subject to change.
Where to watch Bengaluru FC matches live in the ISL?
All Bengaluru FC matches in ISL 2020-21 will be telecast live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD and Star Sports 3 TV channels.
Regional telecast of Bengaluru FC matches will be on Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Start Sports 1 Kannada and Star Sports 1 Bangla TV channels.
Live streaming of BFC matches will be on Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV.