Kerala Blasters FC will host Bengaluru FC in the opening fixture of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on September 21, Thursday to kick off their pursuit of clinching the illustrious ISL title in the 10th edition of the top-tier league on a promising note.

What’s at stake?

Bengaluru FC

The Blues released some high-profile first-team stars in Udanta Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, and Roy Krishna this summer and head coach Simon Grayson will be hoping that the several fresh faces acclimatise seamlessly into the setup for them to have a strong start in the league.

Kerala lost their star midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad to the Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the summer but they have strengthened their defence through the arrivals of India internationals like Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das amongst others. The Manjappada will be banking on them to live up to the hopes of the supporters in the opening game.

Key Players

Hormipan Ruivah (Kerala Blasters FC)

Hormipan Ruivah, 22, is an industrious centre-back, who recorded an impressive 86% tackle success rate in the ISL 2022/23. He will be pivotal in Vukomanovic’s defensive plans for the game.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is the second most successful BFC player with 56 wins in the ISL for the club, just one behind Chhetri (57). The custodian will be targeting equalling that record in the forthcoming faceoff in the skipper’s absence


Played – 14

Bengaluru FC – 8

Kerala Blasters FC- 3

Draws - 3

The Blues have beat Kerala in their last two games in the ISL by a margin of 1-0 both times.

Team Talk

“I am really pleased with the squad that we have got this year. It’s different from last year. We have let a number of players leave and brought some fresh faces, foreigners, Indian players to the group. So, we have got a different type of group. There’s competition for players. We have got six foreigners to choose from, we can start or play four at any point in time. So whoever is in the team, whether it’s three foreign players and the rest are made of Indian players, I will pick a team that we think is competitive and try to get a result against a strong Kerala Blasters team,” Bengaluru head coach Grayson addressed the changes in the squad in the context of the match against the Blasters.

“I am very excited for tomorrow because this is the first time I am playing in the yellow jersey for these energetic fans. I am ready for that. Our team is ready. I am excited. I will try to give my best for my team and win this trophy,” Kerala’s latest signing Pritam Kotal said ahead of the match.

Where to Watch

Viacom18 is the new home of Indian football and the match between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC will kick off at prime time of 8:00 PM on September 21, 2023. Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on the linear channels like, Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 SD & HD (English), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), DD Bangla & Colors Bangla Cinema (Bengali).

In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights to all matches of the upcoming 2023/24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.

Create your own ISL Fantasy team as well

To mark its 10th season, ISL introduced ‘ISL Fantasy,’ a classic fantasy format game. Fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. They can create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation®️5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at:

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