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Indian Super League final, Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC: Know the coaches

Ahead of the Indian Super League final between Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC, here’s a look at the two coaches who will be fighting it out for the right to be called the ISL 2018-18 champions.

football Updated: Mar 16, 2018 18:29 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Indian Super League final,Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC,Bengaluru FC
Jeje Lalpekhlua of Chennaiyin FC (2R) and Sunil Chhetri of Bengaluru FC (2L) with John Gregory of Chennaiyin FC (L) and Albert Roca of Bengaluru FC during the pre-final press conference in Bangalore on 16th March, 2018. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

Chennaiyin FC stand in the way as Bengaluru FC, the model club of Indian football, seek a triumphant conclusion to what has been a remarkable maiden campaign in the Indian Super League (ISL) in Bangalore on Saturday.

Having clinched the prestigious Federation Cup and I-League twice, Bengaluru FC will attempt to crown themselves with the ISL trophy before their home fans at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Ahead of the summit clash, here’s a look at the two coaches who will be fighting it out for the right to be called the ISL 2018-18 champions.

Albert Roca - Bengaluru FC

Albert Roca’s time at the helm of Bengaluru FC may did not get off to an ideal start in July 2016, with the club losing the I-League and crashing out of the AFC Cup. But a Federation Cup victory against Mohun Bagan won them a spot in the AFC Cup play-offs and handed Roca a lifeline.

READ | Bengaluru FC’s strengths, weaknesses ahead of ISL final vs. Chennaiyin FC

It was then that Roca, who once served under Frank Rijkaard at FC Barcelona, began to weave his magic. Hand-picking the team for the club’s debut in Indian Super League, he has led them to final on the back of a table-topping finish with 40 points – the best in ISL history.

Under Roca, Bengaluru FC also became the first Indian team to qualify for the AFC Cup group stages.

John Gregory - Chennaiyin FC

In what is John Gregory’s first assignment in India, he guided Chennaiyin FC to their second Indian Super League final in three years. More importantly, Gregory has been able to bring stability to Chennaiyin’s backline.

READ | Chennaiyin FC’s strengths, weaknesses ahead of ISL final vs. Bengaluru FC

After Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin have been the most solid defensive unit, conceding just 19 goals -- something that was part of Gregory’s blueprint plan when he took charge.

This season has seen Chennaiyin FC concede the least goals in their four-year history, something that can undoubtedly be attributed to the Englishman.

This was something that eventually aided their qualification to the final, as they were able to keep the high-flying FC Goa at bay with a thumping 4-1 aggregate victory over the two semi-final legs.

First Published: Mar 16, 2018 18:21 IST