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ISL 2019-20: FC Goa and Bengaluru FC are once again the teams to beat

05:30 GMT+3 14/10/2019
Goa vs Bengaluru FC
Retention a winning combination and careful maneuvers in the transfer market is what will set the two sides apart from the rest...

Bengaluru FC and FC Goa were the two best teams in the fifth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). In a closely-contested final, it was a 117th-minute goal by Rahul Bheke separated the two teams and handed the trophy to the Blues.

FC Goa, thereafter, went on win the 2019 Super Cup. 

Both sides have done well to retain the core of their squads, ensuring continuity in the system. Bengaluru began this procedure a couple of seasons ago when Carles Cuadrat took charge of the team, taking over the reins from fellow Spaniard Albert Roca.

Regulars such as Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Nishu Kumar, Harmanjot Khabra and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu have pledged their allegiance to the club while the likes of Albert Serran, Juanan, and Dimas Delgado also continue to be part of the team. The new recruits, too, have been carefully selected in only the areas that need reinforcements.

The JSW Group-owned side has managed to rope in Raphael Augusto from Chennaiyin FC, someone who has been a consistent performer in the ISL. The likes of Ashique Kuruniyan and Eugeneson Lyngdoh will also strengthen the squad. Striker Manuel Onwu has been tasked with replacing Miku in the team. 

Meanwhile, Sergio Lobera has been quite content with the squad at his disposal in the Spaniard's third year as the coach of FC Goa. They have managed to persuade two-time Golden Boot winner Ferran Corominas and Moroccan midfielder Ahmed to stay on. In fact, they have retained six foreigners from last season. 

Goa, too, have a bunch of promising youngsters in Mohammad Nawaz, Saviour Gama and Liston Colaco while instrumental players such as Lenny Rodrigues, Jackichand Singh, Seriton Fernandes and skipper Mandar Rao Dessai are here to stay.

Although it might seem a gamble, the top two teams from last season have signed only six foreigners. Most of the squad remains unaltered and this makes it easier for the coaches to work and impart their tactical know-how to the team. FC Goa and Bengaluru FC will not need time to settle when the season starts and will be expected to perform right from the off.