The hosts will look to notch up back-to-back home wins as the visitors seek their first of the campaign.
The Gaurs defeated high-flying Bengaluru FC in their last match and will be looking to carry on the winning momentum against another South Indian club. Goa have a strong attacking side as they have scored eight goals in the last three matches, while their defence looks shaky as they have conceded seven goals. However, the Goan side stand fourth in the league table with six points and head coach Sergio Lobera will look for all three points which will strengthen their position before the next away match against Delhi Dynamos.
Meanwhile, Kerala are yet to register a win in the league as after a goalless draw in the first two matches against ATK and Jamshedpur FC, the South Indian club had scored their first goal of the season against Mumbai City, but the late equaliser from the Islanders once again forced them to settle for another draw. Another worry for the Blasters will be the suspension of CK Vineeth due to a red card in the last match against Mumbai.
FCG head coach Lobera has the option to choose from his entire squad as all the players are fit and at his disposal, but the Spaniard is most likely to go with the same starting XI, which downed Bengaluru in the last match.
Apart from Vineeth’s unavailability due to suspension, Blasters are pretty much at full strength. For Manchester United defender Wes Brown has returned to full training and is available for selection ahead of this one.
Goa and Kerala have played each other six times where both the teams have shared an equal number of wins. However, the Guars have the advantage as far as goals scored are considered as they have netted 12 times compared to Kerala’s seven goals.
Man to Watch
Eduardo Bedia-FC Goa: Though Ferran Corominas scored a hat-trick in the last match against BFC, Bedia played an influential role in all the goals. The defensive midfielder is more accurate with his passes, while his inch-perfect assists make him stand out from the other foreigners in the league. The 28-year-old has brilliant ball control and with quality PASSING, the Spaniard will be the man to mark for the Blasters.
Ian Hume-Kerala Blasters: After scoring only one goal in the last three matches, Kerala Blasters have high hopes from the 34-year-old Canadian striker as he has already scored 23 goals in the last three seasons which also includes five in the inaugural season for the Blasters. The forward has the calibre to create his own chances while his clinical finishing makes him the man to watch for the southerners.
Did You Know?
- Goa had lost both home and away last season to Kerala.
- Kerala have conceded 12 goals in six matches against Goa.
- For the first time this season, Kerala have failed to win any of their first three matches in the league.
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD 7.45 pm onwards. It will be also available for live streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.