Need to keep momentum going, says Westwood ahead of Sporting tie

Collins Could Make Bengaluru FC Debut; Lyngdoh Ruled Out With Injury

Bengaluru: The Kanteerava Stadium is set to host a week of football as Bengaluru FC host Sporting Clube de Goaon Saturday in what will be the first of three consecutive home games for the Blues. With DSK Shivajians and Mohun Bagan set to visit the garden city in the next week, Head Coach Ashley Westwood said that his side was looking forward to the challenge. “We are looking forward to this string of three home games. Sporting Clube de Goa have got some good players in their ranks. It’s going to be a good game and we will have to work as hard as we did against East Bengal or we won’t get anything from it,” said Westwood, speaking at the pre-match press conference.

The gaffer reiterated that getting the right results from home games would be crucial in a short season. “If you win home games, you win league titles. It is important for us to get a result as we have to keep the momentum going. There are not enough games to pull away from each other. Matches against competitors in and around you are going to be crucial,” he added.

The game could also see new signing Michael Collins make his Blues debut. In the city for a little more than a week now, Collins has come as a replacement for an injured Josh Walker and Westwood stated that his first impressions of the midfielder were exactly as he thought they would be.

On the injury front, Westwood confirmed that the Blues will be without midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who suffered a hairline fracture to his fibula following a rash tackle against Mumbai FC. Striker Udanta Singh and defender Ranjan Singh will also be unavailable for selection, the duo having joined the India U23 squad for the South Asian Games.

Sporting, who have picked up a solitary win against Aizawl this campaign, will be without goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh and midfielder Rowlin Borges, but are boosted by the return of Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna. Coach Mateus Costa said his side were looking to put on a good performance.

“Bengaluru FC, as we have seen over the last two years, are a very good side. Playing them in Bengaluru is always tough but we have prepared well and we have made our plans. A win or a draw would really boost our confidence,” Costa said.

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