Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC players train ahead of their final AFC Cup group clash against Persipura JayapuraBengaluru FC's official Facebook Page

Bengaluru FC take on Indonesian side Persipura Jayapura at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in their last group fixture of the AFC Cup on Tuesday.

Both sides have already qualified for the knockout stages of the AFC Cup, but this game will determine which side finishes at the top of group E.

Bengaluru FC will certainly have a tough task against the Indonesian side, who have not been beaten in the competition so far.

The earlier encounter between these two sides in March at the Mandala Stadium in Jayapura ended with Persipura Jayapura recording a comfortable 3-1 victory over the Blues, courtesy a brace from Robertino Pugliara. The Blues were not able to manage a late consolation from C.K. Vineeth.

Bengaluru will be hoping to do better this time around, as in the reverse fixture they were without their six regular stars – Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Keegan Pereira, Siam Hanghal and Shankar Sampingiraj – due to them being on international duty.

Despite being in their full strength and playing at home on Tuesday, Bengaluru manager Ashley Westwood admits that his side will have to be at their very best to beat Persipura Jayapura.

"We've watched a few videos of them and they are a very good side," the Englishman told

"They are a good side who keep the ball on the ground so playing against them home or away would be a difficult game anyway. Also, we are the ones in need of the win if we are to top the group and are under no illusions that this will be a very tough game," he said.

However, Westwood insists that his side will not be under any added pressure, as they have already qualified for the knock out stages.

"We are fortunate it isn't a League match and we've already qualified for the last 16, so we can go into the game fairly free and without putting ourselves under pressure. We can go and see how good we are which is what the AFC Cup has been about for us this year – testing ourselves," he said. 

Meanwhile, Persipura Jayapura will be confident of beating Bengaluru after beating them in the reverse fixture.

Persipura, who managed to reach the semi-final of the AFC Cup last season before being eventually defeated by winners Al-Qadsia, have been impressive this time also, as they are currently at the top of their group, having not lost even a single game so far in the competition.

Apart from a goal-less draw against Maldivian side Maziya, Persipura have won all their games in the group stages so far, recording some convincing victories along the way, including a 6-0 drubbing of Singaporean side Warriors FC.

As a result, the Black Pearl are expected to beat Bengaluru, and manager Osvaldo Lessa hopes that his side will continue their dominant display at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.

"It was great to see how my team played against Bengaluru the last time we met. This time too, we won't be trying anything different," Lessa told Deccan Herald.

Although the 48-year-old Brazilian admits that his side will need to play a "smart game" against the Blues on Tuesday, he insists that they will not be looking to record a draw.

"Bengaluru is a very strong team and we will have to play a smart game if we need something out of this tie," he added. "Though a point from this tie will help our cause, we won't be playing for a draw. We will like to get into the knockouts on the back of a win."

Expected Lineups:

Bengaluru FC: Ralte; Rino Anto, John Johnson, Curtis Osano, Lalchhuanmawia; Josh Walker, Shankar Sampingiraj, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Sunil Chhetri, CK Vineeth; Sean Rooney

Persipura Jayapura: Sulaiman; Pae, Faksawer, Salampessy, Sanadi; Alom, Wanggai, Pugliara; Solossa, Kabes, Kone.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm IST (2.30 pm BST, 9.30 am ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 4.

Viewers in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan can watch also catch the match live on Star Sports 4. Audience in Indonesia can watch the match live on Fox Sports 2.

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