Cuttack: Less than 48 hours of making the last four of the Federation Cup, Bengaluru FC will take the pitch against I-League champions Aizawl FC at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack, on Sunday.
The 2015 Federation Cup champions left it late in the tournament where a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan in the last group stage game was enough to see them through.
And Bengaluru’s Spanish manager hopes that his side can recover in time and turn up with the goods against the League champions who have had the luxury of an extra day to recover before the big fixture.
“It isn’t the ideal recovery period before a big game but we’re going to keep that aside and focus on the job ahead.
I was happy with the way the team applied themselves against Bagan on Friday and we will need a bigger performance than that against Aizawl who are riding high on confidence after their I-League triumph,” said Albert Roca.
The Blues will, however, be without talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri who limped out in the second half against Bagan with a muscle injury. Roca has midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh back from suspension for the fixture.
With Chhetri out, Roca has options in CK Vineeth, Mandar Rao Dessai and Udanta Singh while Cornell Glen, who was an unused substitute on Friday, too could have a role to play. “There are options on this team and it’s a good problem to have.”
Bengaluru have had the upper hand over Aizawl in League, drawing against Khalid Jamil’s side in Mizoram and beating them in Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, the other semfinal clash will see city rivals Mohun Bagan take on East Bengal in yet another Kolkata derby.
This would be the third time the two teams have faced each other in national level tournaments.
Aizawl have already secured a AFC Champions League place but for the other three teams, winning the title is the only option if they are to take part in a continental competition....