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ISL 2022-23 FC Goa Team Preview: Squad, Fixtures, Key Players, Strength, Weakness, Predictions

FC Goa

Bengaluru, October 1: FC Goa came agonisingly close to winning the Indian Super League (ISL) crown twice, only to falter at the summit clash. Could the Gaurs be lucky third time around?

The Gaurs had created history three seasons ago by becoming the first Indian club to make it to the group stage of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

Though their campaign ended in the group stage, the Gaurs impressed in the Asia's premier club competition.

ISL 2022-23 SEASON FIXTURES | PAST WINNERS

Last year, they began the season in style, winning the season-opening Durand Cup, but their ISL challenge fizzled out, especially with coach Juan Ferrando parting ways midway through.

They will be eyeing a better show this time, especially with former player Carlos Pena at the helm.

The 27-member squad sees a total of 10 Goan players putting on the Gaurs' orange jersey this season.

Pena in charge

Pena in charge

Pena, who was a part of the club's Super Cup-winning side in 2019 and the ISL League Winners' Shield-winning squad in 2020, leads the charge of the Gaurs. He is assisted by Gouramangi Singh, Gorka Azkorra, Joel Dones and Eduard Carrera who are also part of the coaching staff.

As per ISL guidelines, FC Goa's squad for the season features six overseas signings, one of whom is from an AFC member nation.

Squad and Key Players

Squad and Key Players

While ISL regulations mandate a minimum of four Under-23 players to be present in clubs' squads, the Gaurs' squad features nine such names. Six homegrown players - who rose through the ranks from Developmental Team -- Hrithik Tiwari, Leander D'Cunha, Saviour Gama, Lesly Rebello, Princeton Rebello and Lalremruata HP -- feature in the club's squad for ISL 2022-23 season. Among them, Lesly and Lalremruata are newly promoted, following their success with the Development Team over the past few years.

Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Hrithik Tiwari.

Defenders: Sanson Pereira, Anwar Ali, Fares Arnaout, Leander D'Cunha, Marc Valiente, Seriton Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Aibanbha Dohling, Lesly Rebello.

Midfielders: Brandon Fernandes (Captain), Princeton Rebello, Ayush Chhetri, Phrangki Buam, Makan Chothe, Redeem Tlang, Edu Bedia, Glan Martins, Brison Fernandes, Muhammed Nemil, Lalremruata HP

Forwards: Noah Sadaoui, Devendra Murgaokar, Iker Guarrotxena, Alvaro Vazquez.

Coaching Staff: Carlos Pena (Head Coach), Gouramangi Singh (Assistant Coach), Gorka Azkorra (Assistant Coach), Joel Dones (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Eduard Carrera (Goalkeeping Coach).

Strengths and weakness

Strengths and weakness

The squad also features two new faces with prior ISL experience in Arshdeep Singh and Alvaro Vazquez joining the squad after spells with Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters respectively.

All of the club's new signings, namely, Arshdeep Singh, Fares Arnaout, Marc Valiente, Ayush Chhetri, Noah Sadaoui, Iker Guarrotxena and Alvaro Vazquez are expected to make their first ISL appearances for the club this season.

Fixtures and predictions

Fixtures and predictions

The Gaurs will begin their ISL campaign on October 12 when they take on Emami East Bengal in Kolkata. Two more away games - against Chennaiyin FC and Hyderabad FC on October 21 and October 29, respectively - await the Goans before they play their first home match.

It has been over two years since the FC Goa faithful last saw their beloved team at iconic Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. The wait ends on November 3 when Jamshedpur FC pay a visit for what will be Pena's first home game as an FC Goa Head Coach.

November 20 will mark an interesting battle for the Gaurs as former head coach Juan Ferrando leads his current troop of Mariners.

Thursday, February 23, marks the end of FC Goa's league phase and they lock horns with Bengaluru FC in an away fixture.

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Story first published: Monday, October 3, 2022, 18:36 [IST]
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