Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca said a strong finish to the I-League campaign is what his side have targeted as they gear up to face table-toppers Aizawl FC at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.
Having returned from the Maldives following a late win against Maziya S&RC, it will be interesting to see the starting XI that the Spaniard chooses to field, given injuries and suspensions in key positions.
Roca will be without first choice right-backs Rino Anto and Sandesh Jhingan, while midfielder Harmanjot Khabra, who has also done commendably well in defence when called upon, faces a suspension after his booking against Mohun Bagan last week happened to be his fourth of the campaign.
"It's definitely a very important game and my players will be fighting for nothing short of three points. We know that Aizawl are looking to stay atop the League and that it means they will come at us with all they have. We have every reason to play this game with motivation," Roca told the media at the pre-match press conference on Saturday.
Brandon Vanlalremdika shot Aizawl into the lead when the two sides met at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in the reverse fixture with Sunil Chhetri's equaliser meaning the points were shared in a match that Roca believes saw the defending champions fall short in the final third.
"We performed well and created lots of chances but were not very lucky when we played in Aizawl. I hope my strikers will finish well tomorrow and do their bit in the final third because we will have to make sure that our chances are converted. Aizawl have a good mix of foreigners and Indians and we will have to ensure that we counter their attack well," Roca said.
Aizawl come into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw against Minerva Punjab FC, their first since the 1-1 against Bengaluru in the ninth round.
Aizawl are on a seven-game unbeaten run, having lost just twice in the League so far, their last defeat coming in a 2-3 loss to Mohun Bagan in February.