FC Pune City eyes win against Kerala Blasters
Pune, Feb 1 (PTI)Hosts FC Pune City will go all guns blazing when they take on Kerala Blasters in an Indian Super League encounter here tomorrow.
It will surely be a daunting task for the Kerala side to beat high-flying Pune team, especially in latter's backyard.
Presently Pune are at the third spot with 22 points from 12 games and a win will surely help the Ranko Popovic- managed side.
Pune are dreaming of making the ISL playoffs for the first time, and have the momentum with them, with two wins out of two and a healthy return of just one defeat in their last six games.
The hosts have conceded only 12 goals so far.
On the other hand, Kerala Blasters are on the seventh spot having 17 points after playing 13 games. The team would be eager to win against Pune and grab three crucial points.
In their last home game Kerala Blasters defeated Delhi Dynamoes 2-1, while on January 21 they had gone down 2-1 to FC Goa.
Kerala Blasters head coach David James said, "The defeat to FC Goa was tough and left us in a position where we had to win six games in a row so the Delhi win was very important. Confidence in the players was good and it put us one step ahead in the quest to win the remaining games."
Pune have a superb custodian in form of Vishal Kaith, who has kept four clean sheets in nine appearances, making 21 saves in the process.
Asked about Kaith, James said, "He's a talented young man and there are some things which he is very good at and there are some things about him that we will look to take advantage of tomorrow."
Pune boasts of quality players like Brazilian Marcelo Pereira and striker Emiliano Alfaro from Uruguay, both of whom are in good form and it will be tough ask for the visitors to stop them.
"It's good if people are talking (about our performances) but I have always maintained that we need to balance both attack and defence to do well. So yes, we are on a good way, but we are not yet good - we are trying," Popovic said.
The Pune coach also said there were some niggles and he may be forced to rotate his squad, but did not elaborate.
With all players in form, Pune would be the favourites while Kerala would need a special effort to defeat the hosts