Talking Point: Can Fowler deliver against a team equally lacklustre so far?

Robbie Fowler’s SC East Bengal and Kibu Vicuna’s Kerala Blasters FC go up against each other in Match 35 of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) on Sunday. Both teams are yet to taste victory in the ongoing season. Having played five games each and no win to show for their efforts, both teams are under tremendous pressure. They can’t leave it late and will have to turn around their fortunes quickly, if they want to be seen as contenders for semi-final berths. Ahead of the game at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, let’s take a look at some of the factors which can decide the outcome of the match.       

Fowler presence yet to bear fruit

It’s not flattering that a team that has the legendary Robbie Fowler as head coach has scored just two goals in five games. Back in his playing days as a Liverpool striker, Fowler scored a great many goals against some of the greatest clubs in the world so fans rightly expected SC East Bengal to be a goal-scoring powerhouse this season. But having scored the least number of goals by any team this season, it’s safe to say that SC East Bengal players haven’t yet followed Fowler’s philosophy as expected. As the pressure is mounting, Fowler does need to speak to his strikers and iron out whatever problems might be there with them.      

Kerala too have attacking issues

With five goals in five games, they appear better than SC East Bengal but they have just one point more than Fowler’s men on the table, not flattering by any means. Gary Hooper, Facundo Pereyra and Jordan Murray have not really lived up to their potential so far and Vicuna needs to figure out quickly why that’s the case. The match will bring an end to Gameweek 7 so the Blasters are running out of time as regards bringing their campaign back on track just as their rivals from Kolkata. 

Defensive woes on both sides

Both teams have conceded 10 goals each and it’s a big area of concern. There are more similarities between these two squads: one clean sheet each for either team. Kerala have suffered eight goals in the second half and so have SC East Bengal. Clearly, the defence on both sides haven’t had a good time so far, particularly in the second half of the game. So it’s clear that the team that addresses their defensive problems quickly does have a better chance of coming out with a favourable result.    

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