The mouth-watering South Indian derby featuring Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC is back again in the Indian Super League. The two giants of ISL collide on Friday, February 23 in an all-crucial match of ISL 2018.
Knockout stages of the ISL are knocking at the door and both Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC are vying for the top four spot at the end of the league phase.
The importance of a win, especially for the home side, therefore remains paramount.
Kerala Blasters are currently fifth in the ISL points table with 24 points from 16 matches. Chennaiyin FC are meanwhile third with 28 points from the same number of matches. Both sides have two league games still to go.
Two-time ISL finalists, Blasters, definitely have to win their next two matches — against Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC — to stand any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
Chennaiyin FC, too, cannot afford to lose points as that might turn out really detrimental to them.
"Kerala Blasters and clean sheets has been a bit of an oxymoron this season!" mentioned Blasters coach David James in the pre-match press conference. "Clean sheets always give you confidence. At the same time, a 0 – 0 draw tomorrow won't do us any good.
"But yes, if you score some goals and keep a clean sheet, then the coach is obviously very happy."
The two sides have played a total of nine matches in the ISL over the years.
Kerala Blasters won: 2
Chennaiyin FC won: 4
Last encounter: Chennaiyin FC 1-1 Kerala Blasters (Dec 22, 2017)
Kerala Blasters vs Chennaiyin FC: Match schedule
Date: February 23
Time: 8 pm IST
Venue: JLN Stadium, Kochi
India - Star Sports 2/HD, Star Sports Hindi 1/HD, Star Sports 3, Star Gold, Star UTSAV, Jalsha Movies, Suvarna Plus.
India - Hotstar, Jio TV