BFC aim to bounce back

BFC aim to bounce back

Bengaluru FC's Harmanjot Khabra (right) and Erik Paartalu share a light moment during a training session ahead of their game against Jamshedpur FC on Monday.

Licking their wounds after their loss to ATK Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC will look to get back to winning ways and keep their chase for the top-four alive when they take on Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday.

It was a reality check for Bengaluru FC the last time around when they were stifled and controlled by the Bagan side. It was also clear that the team does not have players like Roy Krishna or David Williams, who can change the game in a moment with their creativity.

And against Jamshedpur, Carles Cuadrat's men will once again be up against one such striker in Nerijus Valskis. The Lithuanian has continued his golden boot-winning form from last season and has six goals in eight games so far, and has been one of the stand-out players in the league so far.

"We have a plan and a good structure," said a confident Cuadrat on the eve of the game. "We have stopped brilliant strikers like Coro (Ferran Corominas) or (Batholomew) Ogbeche. Valskis could not score against us last season and we will try to do the right things in the next game as well."

However, that task has become harder with the injury to Ashique Kuruniyan. While in the last game the left-back position was filled by Rahul Bheke against the pace of Jackichand Singh, Aniket Jadhav and Isaac Vanmalsawma in the Jamshedpur attack, Cuadrat - whose team had the best defence in the previous season - might opt for an alternate option.

Jamshedpur, at sixth, can climb above BFC with a win to third spot, albeit having played an extra game. However, the mid-table slotting of the Owen Coyle-coached side doesn't tell the whole story of their season.

"They deserve to have more points," said Cuadrat. "They have been unlucky with some refereeing decisions and also some late goals. Their foreigners are getting better and they have young Indians doing well. It will be a tough game."

For BFC, the onus of scoring and creating goals will be again on Cleiton Silva, whose movement off the ball has been sharp, and Sunil Chhetri. Although the captain has been silent in the build-up, the Indian international still retains the ability to pop up with crucial goals.

With Ashique missing, whose driving runs invited a lot of fouls, and the opposition careful not to concede too many set-pieces, Suresh Singh Wangjam's mobility and Dimas Delgado ability to arrow long balls with precision will be key.