The Yellow Army are now unbeaten in their last seven games in ISL 2021-22.
Kerala Blasters FC will want to start the new year like they ended the last when they meet FC Goa in the 2021-22 Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.
Kerala are fifth in the points table with 13 points from eight matches but have remained unbeaten for the last seven games. Ivan Vukomanović’s charges have looked very good this season, especially in midfield and attack. A win on Sunday will take them atop the league standings, displacing Mumbai City FC.
One of the main reasons for Kerala Blasters’ success this season is the stability and balance their midfield duo of Jeakson Singh and Puitea add in both offence and defence.
Jeakson and Puitea are both good in possession and solid defensively. Jeakson is the one who sits behind usually, doing more defensive work and starting attacks. Puitea is the box-to-box midfielder who shuttles between defence and attack.
The likes of Alvaro Vazquez have done well in attack and Kerala can be confident with the arsenal they have against FC Goa who are struggling.
“Every game for us is a final. We want to show Kerala Blasters is a tough team and build a strong side for the future of the club. We have no right to announce that we are going for the title. After finishing second from the bottom last season, we are doing good now but you have to remain humble, shut up and continue working. If we are in a favourable position come the final stages of the season, we will see then,” Vukomanović said on the team enjoying a rich vein of form.
Goa haven’t won in their last three matches and under Derrick Pereira lost to ATK Mohun Bagan in their last encounter. The Gaurs looked out of sorts in that game despite Jorge Ortiz marking his comeback into the side with a goal. With two goals and three assists this season, Ortiz (5) has more goal contributions than any other Goa player and the Spaniard has looked in good touch. Goa’s defending from set-pieces have been a bane as they have leaked nine goals from them so far.
“Blasters have some good strikers and against a team that are in form, we need to prepare to our strengths and I feel we have been gradually doing good in the last two games,” head coach Pereira said.
“Hopefully, we get out there and play for the three points. Edu Bedia has started training but we are yet to get a clearance from the medical team. Airan Cabrera will miss out as he is still nursing his hamstring injury.”
Kerala Blasters will continue to miss the services of Rahul KP and Albino Gomes, while FC Goa will be unable to avail the services of Airam Cabrera. Edu Bedia and Brandon Fernandes are also doubtful for Sunday’s game.
Kerala Blasters: Prabhsukhan Gill (GK), Ruivah Hormipam, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Harmanjot Khabra, Jessel Carneiro (C), Sahal Samad, Adrian Luna, Jeakson Singh, Jorge Diaz, Marko Leskovic, Alvaro Vazquez.
FC Goa: Dheeraj Moirangthem (GK), Dylan Fox, Seriton Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Ivan Gonzalez (C), Aiban Dohling, Alberto Noguera, Princeton Rebello, Muhammed Nemil, Jorge Ortiz, Devendra Murgaokar.
Did You Know
- Kerala Blasters have kept the highest number of clean-sheets (3) and conceded the second least number of goals (8) so far this season.
- FC Goa have a better winning record against Kerala Blasters than they have against any other ISL side (64%).
- Kerala Blasters last beat FC Goa in the ISL, in the 2016 season.
The match between Kerala Blasters and FC Goa will take place at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Sunday, January 2. The kick-off will happen at 7:30 pm IST. The match will be telecast LIVE on the Star Sports Network and is available for streaming LIVE in the Disney+Hotstar platform and the JioTV app.
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