Phil Brown column: If Bengaluru FC beat Kerala Blasters FC, they’ll make the playoffs

Bengaluru FC have had a strange season, having recorded just two wins in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) so far after winning the Durand Cup in the build-up to it. 

The Blues strengthened the team well and were expected to be a real force to be reckoned with in the Hero ISL this season. However, so far, it hasn’t all gone according to plan. 

But having had a long discussion with Simon Grayson on the Let’s Football Live show, I sense that he is really enjoying his time in India, enjoying the challenge, and I think eventually he will get the best out of Bengaluru FC.

Having studied Grayson's career, he tends to win games in streaks. He has records at places like Leeds United, Preston North End, and Blackpool, where he has gone on long unbeaten runs. I think that's what Bengaluru FC are staring at.

I think there is definitely some motivation as far as his team is concerned. It's a matter of time before his strikers start scoring. He has made a new signing, and I think he will play a part. He looks a bit lightweight in terms of his size and his movement and is probably a No 10, who will add a little bit of weight to the strike force. When they start scoring goals, Grayson can organise a back four and start keeping clean sheets, and that’s where he will get success. 

As far as the game against Kerala Blasters FC on Sunday is concerned, I don't think Grayson will have to motivate his team. The fixture itself will get them motivated. 

At Kerala Blasters FC, they already seem to have everything in place. Ivan Vukomanovic has done a marvellous job. It will be a tough fixture in terms of pressure, and I feel it will be a tight game. 

Whoever wins that I feel, will surely make it to the playoffs. I strongly mean it, even for Bengaluru FC. If they win the game, they will qualify for the playoffs. It will serve as a springboard for them for the second half of the season, where we may see unprecedented success. 

The game will be a spectacle for the fans, and given the magnitude of this fixture, the winner will receive plenty of rewards, not just in terms of the points on offer but also in terms of the confidence and impetus it will provide to the winning team. 

Kerala Blasters FC hosts Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League on Sunday at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi. The Match will be shown LIVE on Star Sports Network, Jio TV and Hotstar.

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