Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 1 (ANI): Kerala Blasters FC will look to build on the win from its opening match of the season as the team will host Jamshedpur FC at his home ground of Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.

The Blasters registered a 2-1 win over Bengaluru to get its season underway in a sublime fashion. While Kerala is on a high after the win, Jamshedpur FC will be eyeing its first win after it managed a goalless draw in an away game against East Bengal FC in its first outing of the season, as per a press release from the Indian Super League (ISL).

What's at stake?Kerala Blasters FCAfter finishing outside the top four in the previous season and thus missing a play-off berth, Kerala Blasters FC will be happy with the start of the new season. Kerala Blasters FC coach Ivan Vukomanovic wants to bring the best out of the young Indian players. Ahead of the start of the new season, Vukomanovic backed the club's decision to bring in India forward Ishan Pandita. Vukomanovic was upright in saying that foreign forwards are preferred over Indian players as the ISL coaches search for positive results. Expect Vukomanovic's philosophy to be extended to other areas of the pitch and more homegrown players toflourish in the iconic Yellow jersey this season.

Jamshedpur FCThe 2022-23 season was a challenging one for Jamshedpur FC as they finished second from the bottom with only 19 points from 20 league games. But the outcome of its season opener has satisfied head coach Scott Cooper. Drawing a point against East Bengal FC and keeping a clean sheet gave Cooper enough reasons to be content. Another point from this fixture before the team returns to its den would give Cooper enough reasons to build momentum for this season and bury the memories of last campaign.

Key PlayersSachin Suresh (Kerala Blasters)Goalkeeper Sachin Suresh had a good outing against Bengaluru FC as he made four saves and was involved in one clearance. He will play a key role as the team looks for its first clean sheet of the season.

Elsinho (Jamshedpur FC)Elshinho was one of the main reasons why Jamshedpur FC was able to keep a clean sheet against East Bengal FC. The Brazilian defender made 11 clearances in the contest and was rightly adjudged Player of the Match. With another away game on the horizon, Elshinho's defensive work will be crucial for the team.

Head-to-HeadMatches played: 14Kerala Blasters wins: 4Jamshedpur FC wins: 3Draws: 7Team TalkJamshedpur FC head coach Scott Cooper had an interesting take on rain having its effect on the match. "Rain is a factor in games. It can make the pitch wet. It can stop the ball. So, we have to take a look at the field to make sure that it is playable. It is a bit of a concern. It has been raining non-stop since we got here. There are 90 per cent chance of rain during the match. I would like it to be a football game, not water polo. I know the best fields in the world can't handle this much rain. Rain is going to affect us unless we have a roof. Let us just hope that the ball can bounce 3 or 4 times and roll 10 meters because that is what it should do. If we are going to play football," Coopersaid ahead of the match.

Frank Dauwen, Kerala Blasters' Assistant Coach had a slightly different take on rain. He also spoke highly about the team's goalkeeper Sachin Suresh.

"This week it was a lot of rain in Kochi. The pitch was okay. Sometimes we had to stop for 5 to 10 minutes. But it is part of the job. We did good training. I think it is no problem for us. We trained well and that is most important. I think the pitch is good. I think it can rain. I think there is no problem for us. Sachin (goalkeeper) did a good job. It was his first ISL game. I think the team performed well," Dauwen said before the match. (ANI)

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