Talking Point: Can Kerala Blasters break Goa jinx and register rare win against the Gaurs?
Kerala Blasters FC will be seeking back-to-back wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they face FC Goa at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. The Blasters beat their southern rivals Bengaluru FC in dramatic fashion in their last outing and will be in a confident frame of mind heading into the clash against the Gaurs. Goa are also on a good run of results and won’t be easy to overcome. Here, we have a look at some of the key talking points ahead of Saturday’s clash between the teams.
Kerala Blasters to break Goa jinx?
After getting the better of Bengaluru FC – a team against which Kerala don’t have the best of head-to-head records – in their last game, the Blasters will be hoping for something similar against the Gaurs. Goa have won nine, lost three and drawn one of their 13 encounters against Kerala, which doesn’t make for good reading if you are a Blasters fan. However, their record heading into the clash against Bengaluru wasn’t that great either and despite history being on the Blues’ side, Kibu Vicuna’s men won the match, and the Spaniard will be hoping for something similar against Goa.
FC Goa are Hero ISL 2020-21’s Comeback Kings
No team in Hero ISL 2020-21 has rescued more points from losing causes this season than FC Goa. The Gaurs have taken 10 points after conceding the first goal and most of their goals come in the second half with their backs to the walls. The fact that they score most of their goals in the second period could come into play in the clash against Kerala Blasters since the southerners have conceded 12 of their 21 goals in the second half of matches this season. A team with plenty of character and resilience, Goa tend to give it their all till the final whistle and have netted seven goals in the last 15 minutes of matches and their substitutes have also come off the bench to score three goals so far.
The Blasters’ improved attack could drive them up the table
After struggling for goals earlier in the campaign, Kerala’s attack has come to the fore in their last four matches. They’ve netted eight goals during that time, which is the same amount that they had managed in their first eight games of the season. Their upturn in fortune in front of goal means that only league leaders Mumbai City and FC Goa themselves have found the back of the net more frequently than them this season. The fact that they have nine different goal-scorers in their team in Hero ISL 2020-21 does help in this regard. Jordan Murray and Gary Hooper’s recent form has played a big role in their goal-scoring prowess and the duo need to continue in a similar vein of form for the benefit of Kerala Blasters.