The skipper of the Gaurs, Mandar Rao Dessai, is one player who has turned out for both sides. He had represented Bengaluru for a short while when they were playing in the I-League. The Goan winger-turned-fullback spoke to Goal ahead of the game, highlighting the fact that Bengaluru are a team that likes to utilise set-piece opportunities.
"I have been at Bengaluru FC on loan (from FC Goa in 2017) for five months. I have not played much there but I know how they play and what they are good at. They are good at set-pieces. They mostly concerntrate on set-pieces because they know you can convert a lot of goals from set-pieces," he said.
"It will be a great thing for me, as a captain, to win against them and (for) my team to perform really well. In the league games, they have been performing really well and have beaten us twice but I think we will try our best and win against them in the final."
The Blues defeated Goa a 2-1 win at Fatorda when both teams were reduced to 10 men while in Bengaluru, the hosts overcame their rivals 3-0 despite playing an entire half with a player less.
"Those games were completely different from the final and the [FC Goa] players are focused because they really want to win this game," Dessai reasserted.
"I think it's a very good opportunity for us to prove ourselves in the final because we have been doing good from the very start of the season. There were ups and downs in some parts of the season but we have been performed well in the league games and in the semi-finals and now we are in the final.
"The opponents (Bengaluru FC) are strong. They are one of the best teams in the league," the former Dempo player added.
Mandar Rao Dessai further went on to elaborate how he feels the Carles Cuadrat-coached Bengaluru FC will approach the game in a pragmatic fashion.
"Both the teams have a different game-style. Normally, we like to keep the ball a lot. Bengaluru also like to keep the ball a lot but I think we try to keep the possession for a longer time and attack when we are ready to attack. Bengaluru, against a good team like us, they will always try to defend. They try to play counter-attack because they are good at it. They have good wingers and strikers. They also have good defenders. So I think they will wait for the right moment to attack us," he explained.
Adding detail to the Goan side's game-plan, he said, "Our team is really good. They (FC Goa players) will perform well, I think. We have really good midfielders who can keep the ball. Our style is to keep the ball. We will give our best and just hope for a positive result."
Once a full-fledged winger, Dessai claims that he has been growing in confidence while adapting as a left back under the instructions of FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera.
"Playing as a full-back, this season I had to face really tough opponents on my side and I have learned a lot. My coach (Lobera) also said that 'you are really good at it' and 'you can do it'. He believes in me and I believe in myself, that I can really be good on my side and I can help my team to stop the opponents attack.
"I have been facing good opponents like Arnold [Issoko] from Mumbai City FC. He is strong and fast but I was able to stop him and my team helped me. My team-mates always supported me and encouraged me. So that is the main part of the game. You just have to be united and all together we can win matches and tournaments."
On coming up against Udanta Singh in the final, he continued, "I have to face Udanta because he plays on the right and I on the left. I have faced him before. I just have to do what I have been doing until now and I think it will be the same in the final. I just have to stop the attack coming from my side and help the team to stop getting attacks from the opponents," Dessai maintained.