Defending I-League champions Bengaluru FC will be looking to build on their 3-0 win against Shillong Lajong when they take on I-league newbie's Chennai City FC in what is being dubbed as the 'South Indian derby' at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday, January 14.
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Despite Bengaluru FC being clear favourites to pick up the three points against the I-League debutants, their coach Albert Roca feels they face a tough test ahead of them when they take on Chennai City FC.
"Chennai City may be a game old but their squad comprises players who have competed in the I-League and they're going to look to trouble us. This will be a tougher game than our first one. It's important that we show the same desire as we did in our game against Lajong," Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca said.
Bengaluru FC also signed Indian defender Sandesh Jinghan ahead of this game and Bengaluru FC coach feels that his signing will certainly improve his team and add additional strength to his back line.
"Sandesh is a good player, he can help us to be stronger, but we have to give him time to settle down mentally. We can't pressurize him for tomorrow's game. I know I'm counting on him and I am sure he'll be important for us in the future," Roca said.
While the home team eased past their opponent in their first match, Chennai City FC played out to a 0-0 draw against another team making their debut in the I-League, Minerva Punjab FC. After drawing their first match, Chennai coach Robin Charles Raja is confident that after Chennai play a few games they will start to perform much better.
"We started on a positive note in the first home game. Our target is to do well. After three or four games we will be better. For the past 12 years we haven't had a team but we don't want to look back. We want to focus on what is going to happen" Times of India quoted the Chennai coach as saying.
Chennai City FC will be looking at the experience of some of their seasoned players in former Mohun Bagan defender Dharmaraj Ravanan, Denson Devadas, goalkeeper Karanjit Singh and Brazilian striker Charles as they look to cause an upset against Bengaluru FC.
Robin Charles Raja also said that his team will be looking to Bengaluru FC as a role model and hopefully catch up to them soon but he is confident that his team will be able to cause a lot of trouble to the AFC Cup finalists when the two teams face off later today.
"BFC maybe a different club but they too are from the same zone. Heard a lot about BFC. We are looking up to BFC as a role model, we're learning, and hopefully we'll catch up with them in coming days. We'll give a tough time to Bengaluru FC tomorrow, and we'll do well as a team!" the Chennai coach was quoted as saying.
Where to watch
The match between Bengaluru FC and Chennai City FC is set to start at 7pm IST.
India: TV: Ten 2. Live Streaming: Ten Sports.
Live Score: Twitter