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2022/23 ISL Club Profile: Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC are looking forward to the 2022/23 ISL season, starting in weeks, in high spirits having won the Durand Cup for the first time. Check out the preview, fixtures, team of Bengaluru FC for ISL.

Last updated: 21.09.2022
2022-23 ISL Club Profile Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC are looking forward to the 2022/23 ISL season, starting in weeks, in high spirits having won the Durand Cup for the first time. The squad has undergone major changes in key positions on the pitch with the addition of star players from the league including a new manager at the helm. Bengaluru seems to be in a better state than in the previous two seasons as they wish to compete for the playoffs again in the upcoming campaign. With fans returning to the stadium after two seasons in bio-bubble in a centralized venue, pressure will be more on the club to deliver. 


Previous Season

Bengaluru FC could only go one place and nine points better last season than their worst ever finish in the 2020/21 campaign since their introduction in the Indian Super League. The Blues finished sixth with 29 points collected from 20 games, registering eight wins but suffering seven losses, five points off the playoff spot. The team struggled with the same issue of lacking a potent number nine and silly errors at the back that cost them crucial points in each of the last two campaigns. Even in the absence of a firing striker, Cleiton Silva became a major threat to the opposition with his capability of turning up on the right occasion to score goals and he bagged a team-high nine strikes becoming the fourth-best scorer in the league last term. Danish Farooq impressed well in the midfield to earn an Indian national team call-up earlier this year while the Brazilian Bruno Ramires was instrumental in his role by making the most number of tackles in the league with 104. Capable of playing on both the flanks as a full-back, 23-year-old Naorem Roshan Singh had a breakout season with Bengaluru and was called up by the national team too.  


Manager Appointment & Transfers

The managerial change was an obvious step for Bengaluru FC to take hoping to turn around the disappointing last two seasons for the club. The Blues appointed Simon Grayson as their new manager on a two-year deal replacing Marco Pezzaiuoli after just one year in charge of his performance-based three-year contract amid criticism from the supporters who demanded continuity from the management. However, Grayson arrives at Bengaluru FC with an excellent CV to showcase. He is the only coach to earn four promotions to the Championship in England with Blackpool, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End and Leeds United. It is with the latter that Grayson gained a lot of reputation but since leaving Preston he has not reached the same heights again. Before coming to India, he managed Fleetwood Town to 15th place in League One. The 52-year-old’s start of the spell at Bengaluru FC has been prosperous as the club secured their first-ever Durand Cup title under his tenure.

Simon Grayson demanded a strong backline with stress on youth in his previous managerial stints so Bengaluru FC did their best to back the manager in the transfer market. The recruitment strategy of the Blues came under scrutiny over the past couple of seasons. Aside from a few, most of the businesses in the transfer market didn’t receive the wishful result for a club that has the massive expectation of winning silverware every season. This time it seems the transfer dealings have got fans on board. Securing the signature of star striker Roy Krishna on a free from ATK Mohun Bagan has been an excellent move to quench the thirst for a clinical goal-scorer for the club. The signing of the Fijian made sense after Bengaluru sold their top-scorer from last season Cleiton Silva to East Bengal this summer. Krishna ranks fourth in the all-time goal scorers list in the ISL with 33 goals. Another important signing for Bengaluru FC from the Kolkata-based club was the arrival of Sandesh Jhingan to bolster the back four. The third transfer in a swap deal with ATK Mohun Bagan was of right-back Prabir Das with Ashique Kuruniyan going the other way. More defensive recruitment was made in the form of Aleksandar Jovanovic, played a pivotal role in the club’s success in the Durand Cup. Left-back Hira Mondal also joined after starring for East Bengal last season. Winger Faisal Ali arrives from Mohammedan Sporting to add an extra body to the rejuvenated attack. The purchase of Javi Hernandez from Odisha FC will bring more creativity in the middle of the park. Talking about youth, the club signed 17-year-old Clarence Fernandes from Dempo U-16 and 19-year-old Felixson Fernandes from the development league. 22-year-old goalkeeper Amrit Gope joins from I-league team TRAU. Bengaluru FC also extended the contracts of Roshan Singh, Lara Sharma, Wungngayam Muirang and Parag Shrivas to be future names at the club. Iman Basafa, Pratik Chaudhari, Sarthak Golui, Muhammed Inayath, Ajith Kumar, Yaya Banana and Musava-King all left the club. Youngster Bidyashagar Singh made the loan switch to Kerala Blasters for the upcoming season.   

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Durand Cup Performance

The campaign in the Durand Cup was a successful one for Bengaluru FC as they went on to win the historical tournament for the first time beating fellow ISL side Mumbai City 2-1 in the final at the Saltlake Stadium. The Blues ended the competition unbeaten from the group stages where they were paired with last year’s winner FC Goa and finalists Mohammedan Sporting along with Jamshedpur FC and the Indian Air Force team. However, Bengaluru FC finished second in the group and required a dramatic last-minute winner from Roy Krishna in the extra-time to settle the quarterfinal tie against Odisha FC. The team beat Hyderabad FC 1-0 narrowly in the semi-final to take them to the showpiece final. Forward Sivasakthi got his third goal of the tournament with a delightful chip over the keeper to give his side the lead before Apuia Ralte struck in the equalizer later in the first half. Past the hour mark, defender Alan Costa thumped in the winner to make sure the title lands for Bengaluru FC.


2022/23 ISL Season Club Fixtures

Bengaluru FC begin their 2022/21 ISL season by welcoming NorthEast United in their first game at Kanteerava Stadium after two years on 8th October 2022. The Blues will lock horns with Chennaiyin FC for their first Southern derby of the season in their first away game at Chennai. The next Southern derby is also an away trip against Kerala Blasters in December. The club end their campaign of the league phase against FC Goa in the reverse fixture on 23rd February 2023.   


Saturday, 8 October 2022: vs NorthEast United - 7:30 PM (H)

Friday, 14 October 2022: vs Chennaiyin FC - 7:30 PM (A)

Thursday, 27 October 2022: vs Odisha FC - 7:30 PM (A)

Friday, 11 November 2022: vs East Bengal - 7:30 PM (H)

Thursday, 17 November 2022: vs Mumbai City FC - 7:30 PM (A)

Saturday, 26 November 2022: vs FC Goa - 5:30 PM (A)

Saturday, 3 December 2022: vs ATK Mohun Bagan - 7:30 PM (H)

Sunday, 11 December 2022: vs Kerala Blasters FC - 7:30 PM (A)

Saturday, 17 December 2022: vs Jamshedpur FC - 5:30 PM (H)

Friday, 23 December 2022: vs Hyderabad FC - 7:30 PM (H)

Friday, 30 December 2022: vs East Bengal - 7:30 PM (A)

Friday, 6 January 2023: vs NorthEast United FC - 7:30 PM (A)

Saturday, 14 January 2023: vs Odisha FC - 5:30 PM (H)

Saturday, 21 January 2023: vs Jamshedpur FC - 5:30 PM (A)

Saturday, 28 January 2023: vs Chennaiyin FC - 5:30 PM (H)

Sunday, 5 February 2023: vs ATK Mohun Bagan - 7:30 PM (A)

Saturday, 11 February 2023: vs Kerala Blasters FC - 7:30 PM (H)

Wednesday, 15 February 2023: vs Mumbai City FC - 7:30 PM (H)

Thursday, 23 February 2023: vs FC Goa - 7:30 PM (H)


Team Setup for the 2022/23 ISL Season

Simon Grayson’s strategy to be disciplined at the back and hit teams on counters by their three interchanging forwards won them the Durand Cup final as opposition Mumbai City FC hardly found a clue to prevent them from running at their defence time and time again. It was not only down to solidity at the back as Grayson’s men also pressed high to disrupt easy possession from opponents up the pitch also going direct whenever required. The flexibility in the 3-4-3 system made Bengaluru FC an excellent side to watch in the tournament and fans will be hoping to see the same in the upcoming ISL season. Though, the formation can be tweaked to afford certain players in the system.   

Lining up with the back three of Alan Costa, Sandesh Jhingan and Aleksandar Jovanovic should give Bengaluru FC the stability in defence demanded for over two seasons. It also means two wing-backs, Prabir Das and Roshan Singh will have the license to bomb forward to assist in the attack or drop back to make it five at the back if any such situation arises. In the midfield, Jayesh Rane is expected to be a more box-to-box player with Bruno Ramirez expressing more defensively making him a star performer last season. Suresh Singh, Rohit Kumar, Danish Farooq and Javi Hernandez will be the other worthy candidates to do their bits in the midfield for the season ahead. Up top, Grayson has a lot of options in the forward line to set his team up. Having two capable wingers in Udanta Singh and Faisal Ali, Bengaluru FC could head for a 4-3-3 with star signing Roy Krishna leading the frontline. Of course, captain Sunil Chettri has a big place in the team and he could be a key component in attack more centrally than on the wings. Striker Prince Ibarra could help the team go more direct or use his runs-in behind defenses. Sivasakthi’s performance in the Durand Cup showed he deserved minutes in the team and was instrumental in the strategy to use three floating forwards in the tournament.                     


Prediction for 2022/23 ISL Season

Bengaluru FC have undergone several styles of play over the years and need to adjust once again ahead of the new season. Now with a rejuvenated squad after two seasons of disarray, the Blues have to make the playoffs a priority. From this season, ISL is introducing a new pathway in which the top six teams will be involved in the conversation to get into the semi-finals for the first time. Although last season’s position will get earn them a playoff spot this time, a club like Bengaluru FC should aim for the automatic slots putting them in a direct battle against other top sides like Mumbai City, Hyderabad FC or ATK Mohun Bagan. Bengaluru FC simply cannot afford another underwhelming season on the back of shrewd signings and a tactical master at the helm.

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