Kerala Blasters FC (KBFC) will take on Mumbai City FC (MCFC) in the second match of both clubs for the ongoing Indian Super League on Friday (October 5). The match against Mumbai City is the first home match for the Tuskers at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi and the match will kick off at 7.30 pm.
Kerala Blasters come into this game on the back of their stunning opening day victory against ATK. The resurgent KBFC squad under head coach David James plans to continue the winning momentum in front of the sea of yellow.
Mumbai City, on the other hand, are aiming to put their first points on the board after going down to Jamshedpur FC at home on Tuesday. Jorge Costa's team has to get out the put a splendid show to restrict Tuskers from scoring.
Face to Face
Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City have played eight matches over the four seasons of the Indian Super League. Both the southern and western outfits have won two games each while rest of the four games ended up in a draw. KBFC, in the previous fixtures, scored only 4 times against Mumbai City, while the latter has a superb record of 8 goals against Tuskers.
Kerala Blasters displayed an exemplary performance to overcome ATK in their opening fixture. David James is expected to make no changes to the squad for the match against Mumbai City as Anas Edathodika still under suspension and Cyril Kali is injured.
History suggests that Kerala should not find it too hard to get a result, with Mumbai failing to win a single game at Kochi over the past four years. Given KBFC performance in the first game, the playing 11 seems to be sorted in every department.
Strikers Slavisa Stojanovic and Matej Poplatnik were both among the goals and will provide Mumbai City with a stern test of their defence which was breached twice by Jamshedpur FC. Dheeraj Singh looked confident during his debut Hero ISL game and is likely to start alongside Sandesh Jhingan, Nemanja Lakic-Pesic and Lalruatthara. Nikola Krcmarevic and Sahal Abdul Samad is expected to continue operation from midfield
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City will be keen to bounce back after suffering a defeat in their own ground against Jamshedpur FC. Coach Jorge Costa will look to change some personnel as many didn't live up to expectations.
"Our first half was nothing special. Second half we created a lot of chances to score. In the last five minutes, it was horrible," the Portuguese coach didn't hold back his frustration.
Poor finishing proved to be on the downfall of the Islanders in the last match. Paulo Machado and Modou Sougou are step up their game and should be threatening to tame KBFC. Lucian Goian, the Romanian centre-back, played a pivotal role in the last game marshalling his defence from the back. Captain Amarinder Singh needs to ensure that he weaves similar magic as he did in the 2017-18 season.
Probable starting 11
Kerala Blasters: Dheeraj Singh, Mohamad Rakip, Sandesh Jhingan, Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, Lalruatthara, Nikola Krcmarevic, Seiminlen Doungel, Sahal Abdul Samad, Halicharan Narzary, Slavisla Stojanovic, Matej Poplatnik
Mumbai City: Amrinder Singh, Sauvik Chakrabarti, Lucian Goian, Marko Klisura, Subhasish Bose, Sanju Pradhan, Paulo Machado, Mohammed Rafique, Bipin Singh, Modou Sougou, Rafael Bastos
Where to watch on TV and online
Online stream- Hotstar and Jio TV
TV channel- Star Sports/HD
Hindi: Star Sports 3, Star Gold, Star Utsav
Vernacular languages- Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jalsha Movies (Bengali), Asianet Suvarna Plus (Kannada)