ISL 2020-21 FC Goa Preview: New Coach, New Foreigners But Spanish Influence Remains
ISL 2020-21 FC Goa Preview
ISL 2020-21 FC Goa Squad Analysis, Strengths, Weakness and Season Prediction: FC Goa have altered their entire foreign contingent barring one but with Juan Ferrando at the helm, their Spanish influence remains.
- News18.com New Delhi
- Last Updated: November 21, 2020, 11:27 IST
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FC Goa will go into the Indian Super League 2020-21 season in home conditions and as the winners of the first-ever ISL Shield from last season. Due to the coronavirus situation, the entire league starting November 20 is being played in Goa and that can be looked at as an advantage for FC Goa. Goa will also be going into the league with a whole new feeling after undergoing a massive change in their personnel with new coach and new foreigners.
Goa will be coached by Spaniard Juan Ferrando this season, who is the second youngest coach in the ISL this year. FC Goa will also be having a completely different foreign contingent this season after three of their foreigners shifted allegiance to Mumbai City FC following former coach Sergio Lobera. Goa's football has been extremely attractive for the past three seasons and more of the same will be expected this season.
FC Goa's strength lies in their midfield. There is a barrage of creativity in their midfield line-up with some young blood as well, which can prove to be effective substitutions through the course of the season. Bedia and Lenny Rodriguez can be solid holding midfielders for the team while new signings Jorge Ortiz and Alberto Noguera can prove to be a handful for any team in the ISL.
On top of that, there is Brandon Fernandes, who has often been referred to as an extra foreigner for the Goan team, such is his quality. Also, Goa have Redeem Tlang in the ranks, who had an exciting season for NorthEast United FC last season despite the team overall not doing well at all. With Princeton Rebello, Phrangki Buam and Makan Winkle Chothe also in the squad, Ferrando has a problem of plenty in his hands.
Apart from the midfield, Igor Angulo at the top makes for a fearsome forward line-up for the team. Among the forwards, there is Ishan Pandita as well, who has been playing in Spain for the last few years and has shown quality in the pre-season as well.
If one is to point a weakness for FC Goa, it can be in their defence. Their foreigners Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie are expected to make the central defence partnership while Seriton Fernandez and Saviour Gama are likely to take either flanks. Apart from these four, Ferrando has the option of Aibanbha Dohling in defence but that's pretty much it.
The lack of solid bench strength in defence may be FC Goa's undoing because this season is expected to be a tough one. With very little pre-season time and a huge gap due to Covid-19, there are expected to be injuries and if either of their foreign centre-backs get injured, Goa may be in trouble.
Apart from that, goalkeeping department may be a bit of a worry as well. Even though Nawaz is good with his feet and has guarded FC Goa's goal for two seasons now, his short height and a few mistakes in crunch situations can cost Goa.
ISL 2019-20 PERFORMANCE
Last year, FC Goa were the winners of the ISL Shield, meaning they finished on top of the table in the league stage. They were the first team to qualify for the Asian Champions League group stage based on that win. However, in the semi-finals, they fell to eventual winners Chennaiyin FC 6-5 in aggregate. Though FC Goa won the second leg 4-2, it was the 4-1 thrashing of the first leg that cost them.
MOST NOTABLE NEW SIGNINGS
Angulo has to be the most notable of the signings. He has been brought in to score goals like Ferran Corominas did for the past three seasons and the Spaniard has pocket-full of goals behind him to vouch for him. Apart from him Ortiz is also extremely exciting and is expected to be the creative outlet in the midfield given he is Hugo Boumous' replacement.
Donachie in defence is a notable signing because he is likely to play a crucial role in FC Goa's ACL campaign, which he has experience of.
Among the young guns, Pandita, Buam and Chothe will all be raring to go and will look to give their best in every opportunity they get.
HISTORY IN ISL
FC Goa is a team that usually makes at least the playoffs. They are two-time runner-ups (2015, 2018-19) and also the winner of the ISL Shield (2019-20). Of the six seasons of the ISL, Goa have made the playoffs is all but one season (2016). Juan Ferrando is FC Goa's third coach with Brazilian legend Zico and Lobera being their previous two.
CHANCES/PREDICTION IN ISL 2020-21
With the firepower they have in the midfield and forward line-up, FC Goa are expected to at least make the playoffs. They will also be one of the contenders for the ISL Shield once again even though ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC are stronger units on paper. FC Goa can be expected to make the final as well even though winning the league seems far-fetched at the moment.
Goalkeepers: Mohammad Nawaz, Shubham Das, Dylan D'Silva, Naveen Kumar
Defenders: Sanson Pereira, Seriton Fernandes, Leander D'Cunha, Ivan Gonzalez, Mohamed Ali, James Donachie, Sarineo Fernandes, Aibanbha Dohling, Saviour Gama
Midfielders: Lenny Rodriguez, Nestor Dias, Edu Bedia, Princeton Rebello, Alberto Noguera, Brandon Fernandes, Phrangki Buam, Redeem Tlang, Jorge Ortiz, Makan Winkle Chothe, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Seiminlen Doungel, Flan Gomes
Forwards: Igor Angulo, Aaren D'Silva, Ishan Pandita, Devendra Murgaonkar
Coach: Juan Ferrando