Bengaluru FC begin their AFC Cup 2016 campaign against Toyota FC at the National Stadium in Vientiane, Wednesday.
The 2013-14 I-League champions were handed a defeat by South China in the first of the AFC Cup knock-out stage matches last year, and this time they will be looking to turn around the narrow loss and going further in the continental competition.
Indian talisman Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh are the notable absentees for the Blues in the match against the Vientianese side. While the Indian football team captain picked up a groin injury just days back, Lyngdoh continues his spell on the sidelines.
Lao Toyota FC have a similar story as that of Bengaluru FC. The Vientianese side also came into existence in the 2013-14 season and have won the Lao Premier League already. They, however, only made it until the group stages of AFC Cup last year.
"We've watched a few videos from last season given that the league here hasn't begun as yet and we are well aware of what we are up against," BFC coach Ashley Westwood said via a club release ahead of the game.
"The Lao players are technically and physically good and will prove tough opposition. We've played in Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore and Hong Kong and we know the standard and level that Asia demands. Hopefully, we will give a good account of ourselves," the English coach added.
Bengaluru FC, the defending Federation Cup champions, have been grouped alongside Johor, Lao Toyota FC and Ayeyawady United in Group H of AFC Cup 2016.
Where to follow the updates
Lao Toyota FC vs Bengaluru FC is scheduled to kick off at 4:30 p.m. IST from the National Stadium in Vientiane Feb. 24.
The match will have no broadcast or online live streaming in India. However, the updates from the match can be found on the official Bengaluru FC Twitter handle.