FC Goa will be looking for their first win in the AFC Champions League 2021 when they host Persepolis at the Fatorda Stadium in their fourth Group E match on Friday.
After goalless draws against Al Wahda and Al Rayyan in their first two group matches, the Gaurs were dealt with their first defeat of the AFC Champions League by Persepolis on Tuesday.
After midfielder Edu Bedia became the first player from an Indian club to score in the AFC Champions League, when he had put FC Goa ahead in the 14th minute, Persepolis saw Mehdi Torabi and Jalal Hosseini scoring in quick succession to make the scoreline 2-1. The Indian side currently sits third on the Group E points table with two points from three matches.
Meanwhile, FC Goa captain Edu Bedia will not play against Persepolis. He has been suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the first three matches of the group phase.
Moreover, Persepolis have been unbeaten in their last five matches across all competitions, including registering victories in all three matches of the AFC Champions League.
FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando is understandably cautious about the fixture. "Persepolis are very experienced with very good players. Talking about my team, of course, I'm not happy. (We made) a lot of mistakes and lost the ball in many situations (in the last match),” the Spanish coach pointed out.
Having played three intense matches in seven days, Ferrando also revealed that his players were not 100 per cent fit and it could lead to changes in the playing XI in Friday's match against Persepolis.
“We will change the line-up. Some players are very tired and some players have one yellow card. So we have to pay attention. It's necessary to think about these details,” Ferrando said.
“Today (Tuesday) maybe we were a bit nervous or stressed to play against one of the best teams in Asia. But now it's time to keep calm and prepare a new plan because the most important (thing) is the psychology of the dressing room," he added.
FC Goa squad for AFC Champions League 2021
Goalkeepers: Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Shubham Dhas, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem
Defenders: Sanson Pereira, Seriton Fernandes, Leander D’Cunha, Iván González (Spain), Mohamed Ali, James Donachie (Australia), Aibanbha Dohling, Saviour Gama, Adil Khan
Midfielders: Edu Bedia (Spain), Glan Martins, Princeton Rebello, Brandon Fernandes, Phrangki Buam, Redeem Tlang, Makan Winkle Chothe, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Romeo Fernandes
Forwards: Jorge Ortiz (Spain), Devendra Murgaonkar, Ishan Pandita
Where to watch FC Goa vs Persepolis FC live in India?
The FC Goa vs Persepolis FC AFC Champions League match will be telecast live at 10:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST) on Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD TV channels in India.
Live streaming of FC Goa vs Persepolis FC match will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.
Feature Image: Media/ FC Goa