Josu Currais, the Spanish playmaker who dazzled, at times, last season will be available for selection for the first home match of ISL 2016 for the Kerala Blasters. Steve Coppell's side will hope to put in a much better performance than the one from their first match of the season, when they went down to NorthEast United FC in Guwahati, when Atletico de Kolkata visit the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Wednesday.
The Blasters were quite disappointing against NorthEast United, failing to find any sort of passing rhythm for a sustained period, while not quite carving out enough chances to worry the opposition's defence either.
Antonio German, so impressive last season for Kerala, was one of many who had a game to forget, but Coppell is hopeful the Englishman and the rest of his team can find their form in front of their own fans.
"He was injured two weeks back and he is recovering from that," Coppell said of the Kerala Blasters forward. "But he will get fitter over a few games because in football you get stronger as the league goes on and more matches are played."
One of the keys to German and the rest of the forwards finding their goalscoring form could be the return of Josu, who is available after suspension. The Spaniard was impressive with his playmaking abilities last season and with Coppell likely to go with three central defenders at the back again, the manager believes Josu will lend more balance to the team.
"Josu is a left-footer and he plays as left-back as well," Coppell added. "You have to do your best with the given available set of players. We will have better balance going forward."
Atletico de Kolkata started their ISL 2016 campaign with a 2-2 draw against defending champions Chennaiyin FC, and while wins at home are paramount to finish in the top four in the league, that is not such a bad start. With goals already flowing, Francisco Molina is confident his team can get the better of the Kerala Blasters.
ATK, though, will again have to do without the services of midfielder Ofentse Nato, who remains on the treatment table.
Confirmed starting XI: Kerala Blasters: Stack; Jhingan, Hengbart, Chaudhari; Rafique, Ndoye, Josu, Mehtab, Chaudhary; German, Belfort.
Atletico de Kolkata: Majumdar; Arroyo, Kotal, Das, Mondal; Jewel Raja, Grande, Fernandez, Doutie; Postiga, Hume.