Fantasy Focus: Roy Krishna and Bruno Fernandes expected to dominate
Indian Super League semi-finals have kicked off with a bang. Chennaiyin FC have made the most of their home leg, but Bengaluru will go into the second leg with a slim one-goal lead.
In Europe, although Liverpool have lost their first league game of the season against Watford, it is not going to dent their title hopes by any means, but their back to back losses in both Champions League and Premier League will give Diego Simeone some hope to defend their narrow 1-0 advantage when they visit Anfield this week.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, will also have to bring their A-game to the table to upset Manchester City at Etihad who enjoyed a huge 2-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg. In short, the week is going to be full of intense football and it might be a headache to select the Nostragamus fantasy team. Don't bang your head on the wall because we have just what you need.
Player: Ferran Corominas
Team: FC Goa
Match: FC Goa vs Chennaiyin FC
Ferran Corominas, fondly known as Coro, has emerged as one of the most lethal centre-forwards in the recent instalment of ISL. The former Espanol frontman has enjoyed an amazing run in front of goal with 14 goals in 15 matches along with four assists. His partnership with Hugo Boumous has bloomed through the season and is surely the most destructive weapon Clifford Miranda has in his disposal.
FC Goa have already completed a double against Chennaiyin in the league stages and Coro has scored in both the matches. Goa were convincingly drubbed by the Chennai-based franchise in the first game which ended in a 4-1 scoreline. So if Goa want to qualify for the final, Coro will have to fire at least a couple of goals.
Player: Roy Krishna
Match: ATK vs Bengaluru FC
If ISL is an examination, Roy Krishna is certainly the question the defenders and the coaches have not found an answer to this season. The 32-year-old Fijian has been in a wreaking form this season with 14 goals and five assists. With Ogbeche and Kerala Blasters out of the way, only Ferran Corominas is left to match his marksmanship.
But against Bengaluru FC, Krishna is yet to find the net. On his day, the Fijian is as devastating as it gets but somehow Carles Cuadrat has found a way to keep him quiet. If Krishna finds a way to find the net, the two-time champions will find their job half done.
Player: Erling Haaland
Team: Borussia Dortmund
Match: PSG vs Borussia Dortmund
Erling Haaland is making scoring goals look like a walk in the park. He has already scored 10 goals in seven Champions League games, a stat that is making most strikers feel depressed. Borussia Dortmund will face Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the tie and they will go to Parc des Princes with a 2-1 goal advantage. But PSG have the away goal to their merit. So, Erling Haaland will have to score at least another goal to secure their spot in the quarterfinals.
Player: Ciro Immobile
Match: Atalanta vs Lazio
If Lazio are dreaming of winning the league, it is because of Ciro Immobile. The 30-year-old Italian has rediscovered his form and is leading the goal-scoring charts with 27 goals in 26 Serie A games. It has been two decades since Lazio's last championship in 1999-2000. Lazio sit first in the Serie A table and if Immobile continues to find the net as consistently as he has been for most of the season, it is just a matter of time for them to become champions.
Immobile has been in supreme touch the last time he faced Atalanta earlier this season. Lazio drew the match with 3 goals each and Ciro was directly associated in all three, scoring two and assisting one. It can be hoped that the fixture will reap more goals for the Italian frontman.
Player: Bruno Fernandes
Team: Manchester United
Match: Manchester United vs Manchester City
The inclusion of Bruno Fernandes has certainly brought a gust of fresh wind in the Red Devil's dressing room. His presence has made the side look more aggressive in the final third and his intricate passing has also bewildered many defenders. The Portuguese has already scored thrice and has also lodged a couple of assists.
Manchester United will host defending champions Manchester City in one of the biggest derbies in the footballing world. Manchester City have been a force to reckon with and although their hopes of retaining the title for the third season are almost finished, Guardiola's men are still 15 points ahead of Manchester United with a game in hand. If Bruno Fernandes can help his side conquer their city rivals, it would make him a hero, something his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the fans would love to see.