FC Goa is due to host a resurgent Kerala Blasters FC side this Monday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa. The Gaurs will look to cement their place in the last four with a win in this match, while the Tuskers will want to grab the three points and ascend as far as is possible in the league table.
FC Goa has three games in hand including this one, and they are placed second in the league table three points behind Bengaluru FC. They will try their level best to collect the three points available in this match and be with the leaders on the league table. Ferran Corominas has been finding the back of the net regularly in the past few matches and their defence has improved markedly after the winter break. Sergio Lobera will want his boys to hound the Kerala Blasters with wave after wave of attacks. They will not want to wait for the two matches that are due later one of which is an away match against Bengaluru FC, the leaders of the league. Edu Bedia and Brendon Fernandes are in good form also, the latter particularly after the winter hiatus.
Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala BlastersFC will be happy to get a point out of this match but will not spare any effort to come out with three if they can help it, They have played some good football after the international break also which saw them draw a match with Bengaluru FC and beat the defending champions Chennaiyin FC comprehensively. The Blasters' midfielders Sahal Abdul Samad and Seiminlen Doungel have played well in their recent matches, the former having scored a goal in their last match against Chennaiyin FC. They, along with Slavisla Stojanovic, can keep the Goan defence busy. Nelo Vingada will expect his troops to rely on their speed of counter-attacks and to make them count.
Head to head
The two teams have come face to face nine times since the ISL started. Goa has won 6 of those encounters while Kerala Blasters have won three. There have been no draws in the matches between the two.
Current form of the two teams
FC Goa has displayed excellent form in the second half of the league and hasn't lost any of their last five matches. Their three wins in those matches have all come against the top four in the league standings. Kerala blasters Fc too is going into the match with a win against the defending champions Chennayin FC and have looked more organised after the break. But they have three losses and two draws in their six previous matches.
Sergio Lobera will try his best to win this match and confirm FC Goa's place in the playoffs. He will field his best eleven against the Tuskers. Kerala Blasters FC will have to depend on disrupting Goa's defence if they are to grab the outside chance that they have to qualify in the playoffs given Jamshedpur FC's loss yesterday to Delhi Dynamos FC.
But given Goa's firepower and the form that they are in right now, I would award the match to them. Score: FC Goa 2-1 Kerala Blasters FC