After an uplifting opening day win against the two time champions ATK in their homeground at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the Blasters are all set to host Mumbai City FC in Bengaluru today.
ATK who recorded their first loss in an opening match of ISL have uplifted the Blasters static coach David James. Kerala defeated ATK 2-0 in Kolkata in the opening game and will now be in a buoyant mood. Mumbai City FC will be provided with a stern test to prove their defence. The Islanders have already seen their defence being breached twice by the Jamshedpur FC in their opening match at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Mumbai City are yet to win an ISL match in Kochi, with three draws and a defeat in the last four games. The Islanders will be keen to bounce back after suffering a defeat in their own backyard. Coach Jorge Costa will look to change some personnel as many didn’t live up to expectations against and the men seem to lose the goal scoring chances a number of times. “I am not happy with the result (against Jamshedpur). Our first half was nothing special. Second half we created a lot of chances to score. In the last five minutes, it was a horrible. In the end, we lost the game and lost three points. I am here to try to win the three points,” said Costa.
Whereas Blasters registered their first ISL win in the opening match itself. Having Strikers Slavisa Stojanovic and Matej Poplatnik were both among the goals, they may offer a challenge to the Islanders in their first away match. Besides the goals, Kerala maintained a clean slate with Serbian defender Nemanja Lakic-Pesic receiving generous praise from the coach.
“We have got so many players who have been training and have put themselves in a position to be selected. For any manager, the difficulty is a fully fit squad with everyone ready to go. The two guys who scored (against ATK) did well. Watching the videos, we created a lot of chances in the game from a lot of different players,” said coach David James.
Mumbai City have played just one game so far but coach Costa admitted they are under pressure to open their account. “It is true that tomorrow, we have this pressure to get some points. Because Kerala play at home and after their last game, they will have pressure (to win again),” he said.
Sehnaj Singh is expected to be fit for the tie while Milan Singh could also possibly make an appearance against his former team. However, Mumbai City will be without Davinder Singh and Anwar Ali.