A strong performance against Al Rayyan will give the Men in Orange confidence heading into this one.
FC Goa will be looking to carry the momentum from the goalless draw in their first AFC Champions League match against Al-Rayyan to the match against Al-Wahda on Saturday. The Gaurs punched above their weight in the previous game to become the first Indian team to earn a point in Asia’s Premier club competition. The side led by Juan Ferrando will be looking to perform better in the attacking third, unlike the first game where the strikers got very little opportunities. Al- Wahda are a much more superior side, in terms of continental experience. FC Goa displayed a disciplined defensive master-class to hold the Qatari side in their first Group E match. However, the Gaurs will be looking to have more ball possession up front unlike the first game. The Goan defence and midfield gave a good account of themselves in the previous game, with their positional play in the centre of the park and defensive stability. Juan Ferrando’s side will be looking to improve upfront without losing their defensive shape against the UAE side.
“We need to improve in attack and our focus is always on the next game. We cannot think of the Al Rayyan game anymore,” he said.
“I know the Coach and the attacking style of Al Wahda and they are a very dangerous team. We need to control them in many areas of the pitch to stop them and we will also try to keep the ball as much as possible.”
Young goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh will take confidence from the clean sheet against Al-Rayyan. Gonzalez will be the leader in the defence along with Donachie and Seriton will be the reliable right-back. The midfield trio of captain Edu Bedia, Glan Martins and Brandon Fernandes will be looking to continue their exceptional performance from the previous game. Ortiz and Ishan Pandita will be hoping to get more service from the midfield and get on the score sheet.
Al-Wahda, coached by former Ajax manager Henk ten Cate are making their 12th appearance in the AFC Champions League. The Abu Dhabi based side will be looking to get on the points table after their 1-0 loss to Perspolis, in the first game against Iranian club Perspolis in ACL 2021.
Slovenian striker Tim Matavz is the leader of the Al-Wahn attack and the 38-year-old UAE international Ismail Matar will be the main playmaker in the team.