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Hero Super Cup: BFC vs CCFC, Quarterfinals: Bengaluru FC, Chennai City FC lock horns in battle of champions


Bhubaneshwar, April 3: With a spot in the Hero Super Cup semi-finals up for grabs, Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 champions Bengaluru FC will battle it out against Hero I-League 2018-19 champions Chennai City FC in the first quarter-final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday (April 4).

With the quality of players as well as the success of both sides this campaign, the encounter is unsurprisingly billed as the match of the tournament so far.

Reigning champions Bengaluru FC

Reigning champions Bengaluru FC

The Blues are the reigning Hero Super Cup champions, having won the inaugural edition last season, and will look to defend their title.

After their resounding performance in the Hero ISL, Carles Cuadrat's men will back themselves to overcome any opponent. Bengaluru arguably possess the most well-balanced team in the country currently, complete with an air-tight defence, a creative midfield and enough X-factor in their attack to trouble any team.

The onus will be on the dynamic duo of Sunil Chhetri and Miku to provide the goals up front, while the likes of Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran will be tasked with holding down the fort at the back.

We know what Chennai are capable of: Cuadrat

We know what Chennai are capable of: Cuadrat

Dimas Delgado's vision and passing range will be central to the Hero ISL champions' style of play and Chennai City will have their work cut out for them to nullify the Spaniard's impact as the pivot of the Bengaluru team.

At the pre-match press conference, Carles Cuadrat shared his thoughts on the spectacle and what to expect from a strong Chennai City side. "It's a challenge and I'm sure it can be a nice game. It's nice to see the winners of two competitions go up against each other and it can be a good show for the supporters. We played a friendly against Chennai City FC at the Kanteerava Stadium, and they beat us in that game, so we know what they are capable of."

Chennai in scintillating form

Chennai in scintillating form

Akbar Nawas' men have been in scintillating form this season, eventually emerging as the Hero I-League champions on the last day of the season.

Chennai continued the momentum in the Hero Super Cup pre-quarterfinals and dispatched FC Pune City with a 4-2 score line, courtesy of a hat-trick by captain Pedro Javier Manzi. The Spaniard's brilliant performance on the night was a reminder of his exceptional goal-scoring prowess, which also led him to the top of the goal scoring charts in this season's Hero I-League.

Manzi, along with Spanish teammates Nestor and Sandro constitute the spine of the impressive Chennai City outfit and will be a handful for the Blues on Thursday. However, Nawas will be missing defender Charles Lourdusamy, who was sent off in the second half against Pune.

Bengaluru are definitely the favourites: Nawas

Bengaluru are definitely the favourites: Nawas

At the conference, head coach of Chennai City, Akbar Nawas voiced his concerns ahead of the tie. "We did not have good preparation, because we could not train during the last two days due to the field conditions. When we train today, we will have a better understanding of how we will shape up."

Talking about the magnitude of the fixture, Nawas mentioned, "For me it is just another game to go and play. But for sure, Bengaluru are definitely the favourites - they are the best team in the country. They have the best players, the highest budget. They have been together for almost four or five years. To beat a team like Bengaluru will be very tough."

With both teams relying on a very direct attacking approach in matches utilising speed and quick passing, fans can expect some end-to-end football when the two champions lock horns on Thursday.

Match kicks off at the Kalinga Stadium at 8:30pm IST

Source: Press Release

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Story first published: Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 19:54 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 3, 2019
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