Durand Cup 2022: Upbeat Odisha FC face Kerala Blasters FC; Bengaluru FC lock horns with Indian Air Force FT

Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC will look to maintain their winning momentum when they face Kerala Blasters FC and Indian Air Force FT respectively.

The Kalinga Warriors are riding high over their 6-0 thumping of NorthEast United FC while the Blues opened their Durand Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC.

Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC (3pm IST)

The Bhubaneswar-based club will take the field against Kerala Blasters FC in their second fixture of Group D at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Odisha FC overpowered NorthEast United FC in their opening game of the Durand Cup after fielding their strongest eleven on the pitch.

New signings Carlos Delgado, Narender Gahlot, and Pedro Martin were on target throughout the match, and proved to be a key part of Gombau’s blueprint for their gameplay while Thoiba Singh received massive applause for his magnificent display in the midfield.

With a huge win in their first game, Josep Gombau’s side will be ready to be on the frontfoot against a Kerala Blasters side that drew level with Sudeva Delhi FC in their opening game.

Led by head coach Tomaz Tchorz, the Blasters will field their academy side and will look to play to their strengths to register their first three points in the competition.

With a big tussle expected between the two teams, a win for Kerala Blasters takes them to the top of the points table while a draw is enough for Odisha FC to maintain their lead at the top.

Odisha FC’s match against Kerala Blasters FC is scheduled for 3pm IST in Guwahati and will be shown live across the Sports18 network, and will be streamed live on Voot Select and JioTV.

Bengaluru FC vs Indian Air Force FT (6pm IST)

The Blues are up against Armed Forces side Indian Air Force FT in their second fixture of Group A at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Winning 2-1 in their opening encounter against Jamshedpur FC, the Simon Grayson-led side will continue to test the waters with their new coach and squad.

“We watched the Indian Air Force Team in their last match against FC Goa and what we saw was a very physical encounter. We’re expecting a tough match, but our focus is completely on ourselves and how we can improve as a unit while the tournament progresses,” said Grayson.

Goals from Roy Krishna and Sunil Chhetri gave the Blues their first three points of the Durand Cup campaign, with Bengaluru grouped alongside IAF, Jamshedpur FC, Mohammedan SC and FC Goa. Grayson stressed that he was keen to give his players as many minutes as possible, with the focus set on the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season.

“Our focus is also on giving these players game time and finding a balance that will allow each of them to get as fit as possible ahead of the new season. Unfortunately, we’ve picked up a few niggles and I’m not prepared to risk players for the short term. We’ve got an exciting squad with young and experienced players who have been in the ISL for a number of years. They complement and push each other and I’m happy with the squad that I have at my disposal,” Grayson added.

Indian Air Force FT went down 1-0 to FC Goa in their opening encounter, and find themselves in fourth place in Group A. Mohammedan SC, following their 3-0 win over Jamshedpur FC, are currently on top of the pile with six points from two games.

Bengaluru FC’s match against Indian Air Force FT is scheduled for 6pm IST in Kolkata and will be live telecasted across the Sports18 network and will be streamed live on Voot Select and JioTV.

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