Bengaluru FC host Ayeyawady United in the AFC Cup on Wednesday in a clash that neither side can afford to lose.
Group H contains three teams on three points, namely Bengaluru, Ayeyawady and Lao Toyota FC.
It is likely that Johor Darul Ta’zim, who have nine points, will beat Lao tomorrow and secure their spot in the next phase of the competition.
Should that happen, the winner of the match between Bengaluru and Ayeyawady will become favourite to finish the group second. While winning is of course desirable, losing will be inconceivable. This is going to be a tension-filled blockbuster!
In Yangon last month, it was a goal from Sunil Chhetri that got Bengaluru over the line in Ayeyawady’s backyard and their coach, Ashley Westwood, is hoping his troops can complete the double over their Burmese opponents.
“They are a decent side. When we faced them away, I think it’s the first time they’ve lost at home in three and a half years,” he said.
“It’s a 50-50 match so I wouldn’t say we are favourites. We have Lao at home next and Johor away. Obviously we will try and go one step further than we did last year, when we got to the last 16. The target would be to get to the last eight.”
Domestically, the Blues have been rock solid this season. They currently sit at the top of the I-League standings and have not lost in their last six league fixtures. Keep an eye out for the aforementioned Chhetri as well as Kim Seng-Yong who have five league goals each thus far in the season.
— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) April 12, 2016
Ayeyawady coach, U Kyaw Linh, meanwhile, will be desperate to avoid defeat as his side are aiming to reach the last 16 for the second successive year.
“This match is going to be the last chance for both teams to qualify for the next round; it will be a decisive game,” said Linh.
“When we played them at our home, we lost 1-0 but created a lot of chances. We can say that Bengaluru is the second best team in the group but we will try to win tomorrow.”
The Fishermen will look to their star goal scorer, Christopher Chizoba, for inspiration. He netted a sublime match-winning hatrick against Lao last month.
A photo posted by christopher chizoba (@bazu208) on
Bengaluru and Ayeyawady United will face each other at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore at 21:20 HKT on FOX SPORTS.