|Game||FC Pune City v Bengaluru FC|
|Date||Wednesday, March 7|
|Time||8:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the ISL. The games will be telecast with the option of English and/or Hindi commentary over their bouquet of television as well as digital platforms.
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
|Star Sports 2/HD||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Commentary will also be available in vernacular languages across India.
|Hindi TV channel||Bengali TV channel|
|Star Sports Hindi 1/ HD||Jalsha Movies/HD|
|Malayalam TV channel||Kannada TV channel|
|Asianet Movies/HD||Suvarna Plus/HD|
FC PUNE CITY:
Key Players: Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro
Key Players: Miku, Sunil Chhetri
FC Pune City, despite picking up just two points from their last three games, have made it into the semi-finals of the ISL for the first time in four seasons.
Ranko Popovic's side registered nine wins, three draws and six losses this season - the same as FC Goa who are above them on account of a better head-to-head record. Pune City's record against Bengaluru is also edged by the debutants but not without proving themselves as difficult opponents.
The previous time the two teams met in Pune, Baljit Sahni's red card handed Bengaluru the advantage and they used it well to come from a goal behind and win the tie 3-1 with the help of Miku's brace and a strike by Sunil Chhetri.
When they met again in Bengaluru, Gurtej Singh had to be taken off due to injury while Emiliano Alfaro was also substituted fearing a second booking in the match when Pune were leading by Sarthak Galui's first-half goal. However, the Blues immediately took the upper hand and equalised through Miku in the second half, though Bengaluru's winning streak of six games in all competitions was broken.
Under Albert Roca, Bengaluru FC are currently on a 12-match unbeaten run in all competitions. That includes an eight-game unbeaten run in the ISL wherein they have scored 2.25 goals on an average - the same as FC Goa in the last eight games.
24 of the 35 goals have been bagged by Miku (14) and Chhetri (10) in the league stage and the side didn't even feel the absence of Edu Garcia who had racked up the most number of assists (5). They were also quick to rope in Victor Perez as the Spaniard's replacement. The assists department is topped by Pune's Marcelinho (7) while Alfaro has scored (9) one more goal than the Brazilian in the league stage.
Popovic's tactical decision of using Adil Khan in midfield alongside Marcos Tebar has paid dividends with the front trio of Marcelinho, Alfaro and Diego Carlos enjoying much more freedom in the attack. Gurtej and Rafa Lopez have provided stability in defence.
On the other hand, Roca's side has an enviable defensive record having allowed the least number of goals (16) with the pairing of John Johnson and Juanan at the back. Lenny Rodrigues will be most likely be playing the shielding role with the trident of Udanta Singh, Miku and Chhetri up front.
Can Pune get the better of the Bengaluru counterparts on Wednesday before taking them on at their own fortress in four days?