Match 46 Preview: Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa look to start the new year on a high

Kerala Blasters FC will lock horns with FC Goa in match 46 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama on Sunday.

Kerala Blasters FC rank fifth in the league table with 13 points in eight matches. They are level on points with Jamshedpur FC and a point behind ATK Mohun Bagan in fourth and third position respectively.

FC Goa, on the other hand, stand in ninth position with eight points in eight matches. They are tied on points with tenth-placed NorthEast United FC and one point behind eighth-placed Bengaluru FC, both of whom have played a game more.

KBFC drew their last game 1-1 against Jamshedpur FC. They came back from behind to earn a point. While for FC Goa, they lost 2-1 to ATK Mohun Bagan in their last game. FC Goa pulled one back but it turned out to be a little too late.

Both the teams will walk out on the pitch to get themselves up and running in the new year.

Form Guide

Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters FC are on an unbeaten streak of seven games. They have three wins and two draws in their last five matches, accumulating 11 points.

FC Goa

In the last five matches, FC Goa has gathered eight points. They have won two, drawn two and lost one.

Head-to-head record

FC Goa have 9 wins in their 14 games against FC Goa. Their 9 wins against Kerala Blasters is the joint highest number of wins FC Goa have against a particular opposition, tied with Chennaiyin FC (9). The Blasters have beaten FC Goa thrice while the other two encounters were draws.

FC Goa are unbeaten in their last 8 games against Kerala Blasters, spread across the last four seasons. The last time Kerala Blasters won against FC Goa was in 2016.

Team News

Kerala Blasters FC

In the official pre-match conference, coach Ivan Vukomanovic informed the media that all the players are available for selection.

FC Goa

In the official pre-match conference, coach Derrick Pereira confirmed that Airam Cabrera is ruled out as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury. But the Gaurs will be boosted by the return of Edu Bedia who has recovered and is available for the match.

Key Players

Kerala Blasters FC

Sahal Abdul Samad: The Hero ISL 2018-19 emerging player of the season has been crucial to Kerala Blasters FC’s emergence in the top four race. He has scored four goals so far and is among the leading Indian goalscorers. Defensively, the midfielder has made 28 tackles, 14 blocks, and six interceptions in the defensive play. 

Adrian Luna: The midfielder has been at the center of creativity for KBFC. The Uruguayan has one goal and three assists in the season so far.

FC Goa

Jorge Ortiz: The Spaniard has scored two goals and made two assists in six appearances. His skills and link up play is crucial to the club’s attacking movement.

Alberto Noguera: The midfielder has two goals and an assist in eight matches. He has made 40 tackles, eight interceptions, and seven blocks.

Key Stats

Blasters are a hard nut to crack

After losing their opening match against ATK Mohun Bagan, Kerala Blasters are unbeaten in their last 7 matches (3 wins and 4 draws). This is their longest ever unbeaten run in Hero ISL.

FC Goa approaching milestone

FC Goa need to score one goal to become the first Hero ISL team to reach 250 Hero ISL goals.

Match Timings and Telecast Details

Match: Kerala Blasters FC vs FC Goa

Date: 02 January 2022

Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama, Goa

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 regional channels - Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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