The highly anticipated eighth edition of the Indian Super League kicks off tomorrow with the season opener starring two clubs known for their die-hard fanbases going up against each other—ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters FC.
ATKMB are missing Tiri for their first game and he could be out for a further period of time too.
Enes Sipovic and Vincy Barretto will miss the match on account of being suspended.
3 Indians to watch out for:
Sahal Abdul Samad
This talented young midfielder will be taking on his attacking role under different formations this year and play alongside the likes of Adrian Luna and others as said by Coach Vukomanovic earlier today in a pre-season press conference.
“He has the potential to become a very important player for us and the National team. Both Sahal & Luna can play in different positions. We will find the right recipe”
This Indian international is a solid keeper and will look to fist out any kind of threat from the men donning yellow. In his previous season for Mumbai City, he saved 61 goals in 23 matches and also kept 10 clean sheets, going on to lift the ISL trophy. His experience and winning mentality will definitely count in Friday’s match.
Tangri is a product of Mohun Bagan AC, currently running on a two-year deal with ATK MB. Last season, he made 34 clearances, 13 blocks and 21 interceptions—all in just 17 games.
3 foreigners to watch out for:
Roy Krishna is that guy who does not shy away from putting the ball at the back of the net. He was one of the major players under Habas last season, whose team (2020/21 finalists) was heavily reliant on this goal machine. This season too, he is going to be a key player for the Mariners in every match starting from tomorrow.
Despite the rumours, Krishna is deemed fit and ready to play for the Kolkata side.
This top signing from ATKMB is someone to look out for. Boumous is already a fan favourite for making instant impacts on the field. His playmaking abilities will be beneficial and add creativity to the team.
The Uruguayan player who is yet to make his ISL debut will hopefully be seen tomorrow. Luna has represented his country at U-17 and U-20 levels, registering a total of nine goals to his name. The attacking midfielder with experience playing international games will be a key figure in the game.
In 16 games, the Kolkata side have won on 6 occasions, while Kerala have won 4 times. The rest of the matches have ended in a draw.
Fans can expect an intense and energetic match as it is going to be the first one of the season. Both teams shall try to get the better of each other. ATKMB with some top signings look strong and focused. On the other hand, the Blasters will look to redeem themselves from last season’s results. However, keeping previous records and the current quality of the respective squads in mind, IFTWC could say The Mariners have a better chance of taking home all three points tomorrow.
Habas’ men take on the Blasters at 7:30 p.m. Indian Standard Time, on the 19th of November. All action will take place in Goa due to the restrictions of the pandemic and Fatorda Stadium is set to host the first game.
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