Dempo captain Clifford Miranda and Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhettri pose with the ISL trophyIANS

The 2014/15 I-League campaign kicks off with defending champions Bengaluru FC taking on Dempo SC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Bengaluru FC made an excellent debut to the I-League, clinching the title last season with an impressive record of 14 wins, 5 draws and 5 defeats.

The Blues home record has been particularly impressive as they only lost a single game, against East Bengal, last season.

Bengaluru FC have been pretty serious in their preseason preparations as they toured China and played against some of the best sides in Asia.

Their efforts did not go unrewarded as they triumphed in the Federation Cup without losing a single game in the tournament.

Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhettri's spectacular form in front of goal coupled with John Johnson and Curtis Osano's fearsome partnership at the back will again make the Blues a force to reckon with as they head into the new season.

Apart from that, Bengaluru have also further reinforced their squad, adding the likes Joshua Walker (marquee player), Udanta Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh over the summer.

Taking all this into account, Bengaluru FC are expected to successfully defend the title this season, but head coach Ashley Westwood insists that the league is going to be very tough and a number of teams are going to challenge for a place in the top four this season.

"There are some tough sides this season as we have seen in the Federations Cup," Westwood told reporters. "We played Mohan Bagan the first day [last season] and they were a tough opposition. They were always playing at consistent levels in the cup and they are serious contenders for a top four spot."

"Dempo as well, last week they were really tough. They went through that time without losing a game until we played them. So they are certainly going to be in and around the top four."

"It's a tough league. It's going to be nice and competitive and there are going to be five or six sides competing for the top three spot."

Meanwhile, Dempo SC will also be hoping to start their I-League campaign on a winning note despite them recently losing to Bengaluru FC in the finals of the Federations Cup.

Still they are one of the best teams in the league when it comes to counter attacking due to them having some quick wingers in the form of Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai.

Lenny Rodrigues also provides a solid presence in the middle of the park along with their new signing Francis Fernandes, who apart from helping them retain possession, also provides a creative outlet to the side.

Dempo are also very firm defensively, with centre-backs Calum Angus and Haroon Amiri bringing in a lot of solidarity at the back.

Despite the Golden Eagles having a pretty good squad this season, Dempo captain Clifford Miranda insists that his side are going to have a tough time against Bengaluru FC in their opening fixture on Saturday.

"They are the best team in the country at the moment. They recently won the Federations Cup. They are a team who are growing in stature as well as in confidence. I believe they are the complete team," Miranda told reporters.

"Most important thing for them is they play as a team. I don't think they depend on any single player which is a good thing because the moment you start depending on a single player that becomes a problem for the team."

Where to watch

The game is scheduled for a 7.00 p.m IST start with live telecast on Ten Action. Viewers can also live stream the action on Ten Sports Live

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