ISL Final: How shall Bengaluru FC replace Subhasish Bose against Chennaiyin FC

Bengaluru FC
The Subhasgram-born defender is not available for selection against Chennaiyin FC in the ISL final this weekend…

Subhasish Bose has been an integral part of Bengaluru FC this season since being picked at the Indian Super League (ISL) Player Draft in July last year. The left-back has started in 14 of their 20 matches this season and put in consistent performances which has seen him make the starting spot more or less his own.

This wasn’t the case earlier in the campaign when he was brought on largely as a substitute towards the closing stages of the game. After the away defeat to FC Goa where Rahul Bheke, who cannot be blamed for being played out of position as a left-back, had a poor outing, Bose was handed an opportunity to start against NorthEast United. And he did not disappoint.

What works in his favour is that he is equally adept at moving forward with the ball and can sit back to protect the goal as well. Add to that, he stands at 186 cms which provides Roca with another player to dominate in aerial duels.

However come Saturday, the 22-year-old will not feature in the ISL final. He picked up a card in each of the two legs of the play-offs against FC Pune City.

Coach Albert Roca will certainly have a conundrum when it comes to team selection and Goal explores the various possibilities in which he could possibly line-up against Chennaiyin FC.

a) With Harmanjot Khabra last playing a game on February 13th in an AFC Cup tie when he picked up an injury, the option of deploying the former Chennaiyin FC defender in the right-back slot and move Bheke to the other full-back position is highly unlikely.

b) Nishu Kumar is a like for like replacement for Bose in the left back position. It must be noted that the 20-year-old played in the midweek AFC Cup game against Bangladesh’s Abahani for 55 minutes. Whether the youngster who has mere 309 minutes in the ISL would be handed a start is uncertain. He has only made three starts this season in the competition.

Bengaluru FC formation 1

c) Given that Chennaiyin FC usually attack through the wings, Bengaluru FC could prefer to line-up in a 3-5-2 formation. Bheke, John Johnson and Juanan Antonio could start as the three centre-backs being ably supported by Udanta Singh and Boithang Haokip as the two full-backs. The midfield shall be marshalled by the trio of Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu and Lenny Rodrigues with Sunil Chhetri and Miku upfront.

Bengaluru FC formation 3

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d) The JSW-owned side could start in the 3-5-2 formation however, it will be Paartalu instead of Bheke in the centre-back role. The two wing-backs being Udanta and Bheke with Delgado, Rodrigues and Haokip in the middle. Chhetri and Miku will be expected to lead the line.

Bengaluru FC formation 2

It remains to be seen which of the above-mentioned option the former Barcelona assistant coach opts for in the final or would he spring a surprise against Chennaiyin FC?