Bengaluru FC had a solid start to this year’s ISL season by defeating Northeast United, but Kiko Ramirez’s Odisha stunned Marco’s Bengaluru by bagging 3 points for the very first time against them. Bengaluru FC fans would expect a much better performance from the team in the upcoming ‘South-Indian derby’.
Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters once again had a disappointing start to the season. In their first game ,they lost to star-studded ATKMB by the scoreline of 4-2, the only positive in the game being a beautiful volley scored by Sahal Abdul Samad aided by a clever pass from Rahul KP. Whereas they drew against Northeast United in their second fixture.
Bengaluru FC will not have the services of Leon Augustine as he injured himself against Northeast United and Harmanpreet Singh is out for this season. The midfield duo of Jayesh Rane and Bruno Ramirez Silva will be missing against the Blasters. Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters will miss the trickery of Rahul KP on the flanks as he injured himself in the last game after providing an assist.
3 Indians to watch out for
Sahal Abdul Samad
The young talented midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad will once again try to impress with his dazzling dribbling skills. He became the first Indian to score this season. He would look to add more to his tally. This season he will be chanelised according to the needs of the team. He’s a versatile player who can play as number 10, central midfielder and can also show his trickery on the flanks. It would be interesting to see whether Sahal can perform beyond our expectations.
Sunil Chhetri may have missed a penalty in the last game and appeared a bit off-colour in the first two fixtures, but he will have his sights set on the back of the net against the arch-rivals, Kerala Blasters. He’s one of the rare species in Indian Football who continues to impress us despite all odds. He’s just a goal-away from being the all time top scorer of ISL with 47 goals. Fans would love to see Chhetri climbing the summit of the all time top scores list in ISL by surpassing Coro.
The only Indian to score in a World Cup, Jeakson Singh will be a key figure in the midfield against BFC. Jeakson Singh who is 6.1 feet tall will be crucial to win duels in midfield. His height is an added advantage for Blasters in set-piece situations. He can be the difference between the two sides.
3 Foreigners to watch out for
Cleiton Silva, popularly known as Tagaru Silva will be crucial in iniating attacks for Bengaluru FC . Two seasons on the trot he scored the opening goal for Bengaluru FC and also assisted the goal scored by Jayesh Rane, against Northeast United. Surprisingly he was benched in the last game against Odisha FC and after being brought in mid-way through the second half failed to make a difference. This time around, he would love to reassert his red-hot form for the Blues.
Enes Sipovic who joined Kerala Blasters from their South-Indian rivals Chenniayan will be key personnel in the defense. He should be at his best to stop the offensive side of Bengaluru FC. He will be an asset for the Blasters in set-pieces. His role would be crucial this season as Blasters eye a playoff spot.
Jorge Periyera Diaz
The spotlight will be on Argentine Striker Jorge Periyera Diaz who scored the 2nd goal against ATKMB. He was heavily involved in the attacks initiated by Blasters in their first game. The Argentine would love to make a mark in Indian Super League by scoring more goals. His experience will be crucial for Blasters as the season progresses.
Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters have faced each other 8 times wherein Bengaluru FC has tasted victory 5 times and Kerala Blasters have won this duel 2 times with a solitary draw. The statistics are in favour of Bengaluru FC.
Bengaluru FC has started their campaign with a win whereas Kerala Blasters lost their maiden game. However, Blasters drew against NorthEast in their second game whereas Bengaluru FC lost miserably to Odisha FC owing to individual errors. With Injuries being a concern for both the sides, this game seems to be an even-steven and may end with a scoreline of 3-3.
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