Sachin Tendulkar co-owned Kerala Blasters go into probably their toughest match so far in the ISL 2016 on Friday as they get set for a showdown with Mumbai City FC, currently second in the league table. Three matches have been played and the Kerala side are yet to win a game. Ranbir Kapoor's Mumbai City, meanwhile, are yet to taste a defeat.
Going by their recent form, Mumbai look the favourites in the match. However, the away side have a major blow as marquee player Diego Forlan, who is one of the few star foreigners to shine in the Indian Super League this season, will miss the game owing to an injury. The likes of goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and forward Sunil Chhetri are also unavailable owing to AFC Cup 2016 duties.
"No, Diego hasn't travelled with the team. He is working hard on his recovery with our medical staff and we hope that we can have him back fully fit at the earliest," said Mumbai coach Alexandre Guimaraes.
The good news, however, is that Haiti star forward Sony Norde is in contention for a start. Pronay Halder, meanwhile, remains suspended.
For Kerala Blasters, marquee player Aaron Hughes, who missed the previous match for his team owing to international duties, is set to play in the middle of the defence in place of Cedric Hengbart who suffered a groin injury in the Kerala's previous game.
Apart from that, there is no major change expected in the starting lineup for Steve Coppell's side, as they look for their first win of the season.