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Federation Cup 2017: Bengaluru FC vs Shillong Lajong FC Preview: Platform to start afresh for Blues after mediocre I-League

Goal.com logo Goal.com 07-05-2017

The latest edition of the Federation Cup rolls into its second day at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha as Bengaluru FC entertain Shillong Lajong in the Group B opener in the evening kick-off.

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After a disappointing I-League where the two-time league champions and 2015 Federation Cup winners finished fourth, Bengaluru FC will be seeking to wipe the slate clean and set an early reckoning to challenge for silverware in the two-week competition.

As far as fixture congestion go, the Blues come off a damning 2-0 defeat at the hands of Abahani Limited in Dhaka, midweek in the AFC Cup. However, fresh reinforcement in the form of Trinidadian striker Cornell Glen is sure to instil a fresh approach, the 36-year-old having won the same title last year with Mohun Bagan.

Bengaluru FC did the league double this season over Lajong and historically, the Garden City team have never fumbled against the north-eastern side. Albert Roca has travelled with a 24-man squad where Rino Anto too has made the trip after being out of action for five months.

Shillong Lajong, on the other hand, had expectations of a top-four finish in the I-League dented co-incidentally by Bengaluru FC itself. The Southern Eagles shrugged off their eight-game unbeaten run and ended the season by winning their last four games. keeping clean sheets in each.

However, there would be no place for vengeance as the season transcends into a new competition altogether. Thangboi Singto's has rarely played more than two foreigners in his eleven and that would be the case again.

Aser Pierrick Dipanda, who picked up the Golden Boot in the I-League with eleven goals would once again be tasked with finding the back of the net with a host of youngsters itching to warrant a place in the national squad set to be picked later this month.

The heat in Cuttack would once again play a role and it does not really help either of the sides given the kick-off is at 4 PM.

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

BENGALURU FC TEAM NEWS

Injured: Sena Ralte, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Marjan Jugovic

Unavailable: Shankar Sampingiraj, Beikhokhei Beingaichho

Suspended: None

Key Players: Sunil Chhetri, Cornell Glen

SHILLONG LAJONG FC TEAM NEWS

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Key Players: Aser Dipanda, Isaac Vanmalsawma

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