FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters FC: Preview, team news, probable lineups, and more for ISL 2023-24 clash
All eyes will be on Fatorda Stadium on Sunday, December 3, when hosts FC Goa and high-flying Kerala Blasters FC lock horns in a top-of-the-table clash.
The Tuskers are currently leading the pack in ISL 2023-24, but will face their fiercest challengers yet this weekend. Goa have rarely put a foot wrong in their campaign and trail their upcoming opponents by just a point with two games in hand.
This fixture could allow either team to build a comfortable distance between them and their challengers. Apart from the implications this fixture has on the points table, the mere prospect of witnessing two of the most free-flowing teams in the league adds to the flavor.
Kerala Blasters FC are currently on a five-game unbeaten run, with their previous fixture ending in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Chennaiyin FC. Their attacking department has been led by their talismanic skipper Adrian Luna, who has already recorded three goals and four assists in eight appearances this season.
While the hope for the Blasters will be to secure their summit spot, head coach Ivan Vukomanovic underlined that this is more of a constant process.
"I always look at these things as long-term things. In the first season in the bubble in Goa, after 10 games we were sitting at 17 points. Last year, after eight games we had fewer points than now. We look at this as a constant process to continue, especially from the start of the competition," he said during the pre-match press conference.
"In the long term we want to be a team that can always be at the top of the table, fighting for the top spots, not forgetting our goals as a club and as a team."
Meanwhile, the Gaurs are on a relentless unbeaten run under Manolo Marquez's leadership. They have roared to five victories in six matches and have been held to a stalemate in just one fixture. The presence of firepower and resilience across the board as made FC Goa one of the frontrunners in the competition.
Marquez's men have shown their pedigree as title challengers in the initial phases of the season. Noah Sadaoui's trickery, Carlos Martinez's composure, Victor Rodriguez's finesse and Jay Gupta's explosiveness have all had an impact on their splendid start to the campaign.
They will hope to extend their unbeaten run against the Blasters on Sunday.
FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters FC: Match details
Venue: Fatorda Stadium, Goa.
Timings: 8:00 pm IST on Sunday, December 3.
FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters FC: Probable Lineups
FCG: Arshdeep Singh (GK), Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Sandesh Jhingan, Jay Gupta, Rowllin Borges, Carl McHugh, Udanta Singh, Victor Rodriguez, Brandon Fernandes, Carlos Martinez.
KBFC: Sachin Suresh (GK), Sandeep Singh, Pritam Kotal, Ruivah Hormipam, Naocha Huidrom Singh, Daisuke Sakai, Vibin Mohanan, Danish Farooq Bhat, Adrián Luna, Kwame Peprah, Dimitris Diamantakos.
FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters FC: Prediction
When the top two teams in the league collide, there's hardly any room for error. Fans will be gearing up for an absolute attacking masterclass from two of the best sides in the ISL so far.
Goa and the Kerala Blasters have played a recognizable positive brand of football and have earned results through the same. It's different to imagine either of them changing their approach, and a high-scoring draw could be on the cards.
Prediction: FC Goa 2-2 Kerala Blasters FC