ISL preview: Kerala Blasters aim to cement playoff standings as East Bengal FC seek positives Live Sports News

ISL preview: Kerala Blasters aim to cement playoff standings as East Bengal FC seek positives

A win will be crucial at this point for the Blasters to be confident of the playoff spots, while the Torch Bearers aren’t in contention for the same.

Team News: East Bengal FC

East Bengal FC are currently ninth in the table and ten points from last place in the playoffs. Last week, Torch Bearers scored twice in the second half but ended up losing 4-2 to FC Goa.

With an eye on next season, East Bengal FC are looking for their second home win this season in what will be their eighth game here.

Their transfer embargo was lifted last week, which will allow the club to bring new signing Jake Jervis into the starting XI after a two-week wait to register him. Head coach Stephen Constantine mentioned last week the importance of Cleiton Silva and how the club wanted to pair him with a good attacking partner. To meet this need, Jervis will start.

“We’ve been scouting players since, I would say, October. Jake was one of those players we wanted to bring in – obviously we need help up front. It took a while because of the situation. ’embargo and what you have, but I “I’m glad he’s playing tomorrow. I think it’s the first time I’ll have two strangers [strikers] start a game, which was our goal from day one and I’m happy about that. And I hope he will have a good game,” Constantine said.

Team News: Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters FC bounced back from two straight defeats with a 2-0 win over NorthEast United FC last week. Dimitrios Diamantakos netted a brace last week and increased his season tally to nine goals in 15 games. The Greek striker is only one behind Hero ISL top scorer Iker Guarrrotxena.

Head coach Ivan Vukomanovic will be delighted to see Denmark’s Farooq join the club from rivals Bengaluru FC. However, the 26-year-old will have to fight for a place in the starting XI along with Rahul KP, Sahal Samad and Bryce Miranda. Vukomanovic has confirmed injured defender Marko Leskovic will miss what he considers a tough game.

“I think they find themselves in a place where they don’t deserve to be. It’s a strong team. If you allow this kind of team to play, to explore their quality, you will suffer. C is a fact,” Vumomanovic told me.

“At the end of the season, where you have to play teams where everyone says, ‘you know they’re at the bottom of the table, and it’ll be easy’ – it’s quite the opposite. It was also the case in the last game against NorthEast United FC. So you should never be flippant in this league. Anyone can beat anyone,” he added.

EBFC vs. KBFC: Head to Head

East Bengal FC have never beaten Kerala Blasters in the Hero ISL. Three of their five meetings have ended in draws, while the Blasters have won two. Both of those Blasters wins have come in the past two meetings.

ISL Media

ISL preview: Kerala Blasters aim to cement playoff standings as East Bengal FC seek positives

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