Both teams drew their previous game and will be looking to get back to winning ways.

Kerala Blasters will be returning home after drawing their last game at Chennai to mark the beginning of the club’s second half of the season. The side, which is on a six-game unbeaten run, will be keen to get back to winning ways in front of home fans. They would like to continue their unbeaten run and get all three points from Monday’s game against Odisha FC.

After starting the season well and being on a three-match winning streak, Odisha FC suffered a setback in the last two games. In these two games, the side lost the first one and drew the other. Thus, Monday’s game is of immense importance for the Juggernauts. They would love to get three points from the fixture, especially with both sides standing on equal points and bidding for a top-of-the-table finish.

In light of these, let us take a look at what the encounter has to offer.

The Stakes

Kerala Blasters

For Kerala Blasters, this game is of immense significance. They will start as favourites due to the home advantage and will be under pressure from fans to get a good result. It might not be a big problem for the Yellow Army as they are in good form. Based on their current run, not getting three points will be disappointing for the side.

Kerala Blasters are currently placed in fifth place on the points table with 19 points from 10 games. A win will take them to 22 points and push them towards the top of the table.

Odisha FC

Odisha FC have got only one point from their last two games. They are also a side looking for a table-top finish by the season’s end. Hence, losing a single point will be very costly for them. Odisha will like to turn the tables right away on Monday. It will be great for the side to resume its momentum, and we can expect them to go all-out against the Blasters right from the beginning.

Odisha FC are currently in the sixth spot on the points table, just below Kerala Blasters. Both sides have bagged the same number of points from the same number of games, i.e 19 and 10 respectively. Similar to Kerala, a win will take them to 22 points and propel the side toward tabletop.

Injury & Team News

The Blasters have a fully fit roster to choose from! Meanwhile for Odisha FC, Michael Soosairaj and Shubham Sarangi are out for long-term injuries. Saul Crespo is also injured. However, all these players will travel with the squad and may get featured on the matchday squad.

Head-to-Head

To date, Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC have met seven times in the ISL.

Played – 7

Kerala Blasters – 2

Odisha FC – 2

Drawn – 3

Predicted Line-ups

Kerala Blasters FC (4-4-2)

Prabhsukhan Gill (GK); Sandeep Singh, Hormipam Ruivah, Marko Leskovic, Nishu Kumar; Rahul KP, Jeakson Singh, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Sahal Abdul Samad; Dimitrios Diamantakos, Adrian Luna

Odisha FC XI (4-3-3)

Amrinder Singh (GK); Narender Gahlot, Nikhil Prabhu, Carlos Delgado, Sahil Panwar; Isaac Vanmalsawma, Victor Rodriguez, Thoiba Singh; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Diego Mauricio, Nandhakumar Sekar

Player to Watch

Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters)

Sahal Abdul Samad (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Sahal has been able to continue with his form from last year as he is playing a pivotal role in Vukomanovic’s starting XI. He has scored three goals from 10 games so far. In addition to that, he has provided two assists for the side, taking his overall goal contributions to five. In their last game against Chennaiyin, he opened the scoring for Kerala.

Sahal should be looking to continue with his recent momentum and add to his tally of goal contributions. Playing at home where he is a fan favourite, he will definitely create problems for Odisha if left unchecked by their defence.

Raynier Fernandes (Odisha FC)

Raynier Fernandes (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Raynier was one of the better players for Odisha in their last two lacklustre games. In their last game alone, Raynier created three chances and took five shots, both the stats were the highest for his side. He will fight for his side to get three points from the game and strengthen their bid to finish among the top four by the end of the season.

Did You Know?

  • Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC have the same number of points from the same number of games as of now.
  • Odisha FC won against Kerala Blasters earlier in the season at Bhubaneswar. It was a comeback win for the Juggernauts in which they edged past the Yellow Army 2-1.
  • Kerala Blasters are currently on a six-match unbeaten streak in which they won the first five matches and drew the last one.
  • The five-match winning streak is the best for Kerala Blasters since their inception.

Telecast

The match between Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC will take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, Kerala, on December 26th (Monday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the game.

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