The Yellow Army are all set to host the Gaurs in the 68th game of Hero Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, on Saturday. Kerala Blasters are in good run of form at the moment after an exciting win over Bengaluru FC in the Southern Derby.
While, Juan Ferrando’s side are also in fine form with a unbeaten streak in their last five games. The Goan club is currently in the top four position comfortably with 19 points. The club will also needs to focus focus for the grand AFC Champions League tourney as well.
Kibu Vicuna will be looking for all three points against the Gaurs to move up the ladder. The win on Saturday can take the Blasters to fifth position from their current ninth position in the table. However, defeating Goa won’t be an easy task for Kibu’s side.
The Goan club has been playing good football this season even after losing their key players in the transfer window. Juan Ferrando has done good job to carry over Sergio Lobera’s legacy at the Fatorda. Vicuna needs to focus on their midfield to stop the creative supply from the middle.
When and where?
Kerala Blasters will host FC Goa in the 68th fixture of Hero Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim on January 23rd (07:30 PM IST).
Team News and Expected Line-up
The club from Kerala doesn’t have any major injury concerns at the moment. The 30-year-old Spanish midfielder Sergio Cidoncha is the only player injured with Torn Ankle Ligament and is ruled out for rest of the tourney. His replacement Juande has already made his debut for the Blasters.
In-form striker Jordan Murray limped off during the game against Bengaluru FC in the halftime. However, he might return to the starting eleven considering the importance of the game in league.
Expected Line-up: Albino Gomes, Costa Nhamoinesu, Jeakson, Yendrembam, Sandeep Singh, Vicente Gómez, Juande, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul, Jordan Murray, Gary Hooper
Juan Ferrando’s side is free from injuries and suspensions as well. The Gaurs will be expected to play their usual 4-2-3-1 against the Blasters in an important clash. While, Naveen Kumar is expected to start from the goal for Goan club with Nawaz set to leave the Fatorda.
While, Hyderabad FC defensive all-rounder Adil Khan joins FC Goa until end of the season on loan. The Indian international didn’t get regular play time under Manuel Marquez at Hyderabad. Adil is expected to start from the bench for Goa on Saturday.
Brandon Fernandes will also be a doubt for Juan Ferrando’s side, who missed the training session for the Goan club on Friday.
Expected Line-up: Naveen Kumar, Iván Gonzalez, James Donachie, Saviour Gama, Seriton Fernandes, Noguera, Edu Bedia, Lenny Rodrigues, Jorge Ortiz, Princeton, Alexander Romario Jesuraj
Kerala Blasters vs FC Goa: Head to Head stats
FC Goa have clear advantage over the Blasters in the head-to-head competition. The Gaurs have won it nine times in the past, losing three and drawn a game. The last meeting also ended in favor of FC Goa in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
The in-form Australian centre-forward Jordan Murray will be key for Kibu Vicuna against FC Goa. The Australian has been good so far in front of the goal for the Blasters. Murray has netted six goals this term and assisting one goal as well.
Murray’s parter up front Gary Hooper is yet to fire in Hero ISL. The English forward had huge expectations coming in to this league, but has failed to live up to the expectations. Hooper was preferred over Murray during the initial phase of season, but Murray has won his place with his impressive display.
Jorge Ortiz will be vital for Juan against the Blasters. The Spanish forward has been stand out for the Goan club this term. While, Igor Angulo on the other has done a pretty good job to replace the veteran striker Corominas. Igor is expected to come late in the second-half as super substitute to make an impact.
Former Atletico Madrid B striker has four goals for FC Goa, so far this season. He’ll also be a key figure for Juan’s side in the upcoming AFC Champions League tournament.
Final Score Prediction
Last time, when these two sides met this season involved four goals. The upcoming fixture is expected to have more goals as well, with two Spanish coaches going head-to-head. The final scoreline might read 1-2 in favor of the Goan club.