ISL 2017/18, Match 62: FC Pune City vs Kerala Blasters FC, Probable XI
Will Kerala Blasters be able to dominate the Alfaro-less FC Pune City tonight?
FC Pune City is all set to welcome the two-time runners-up Kerala Blasters in their 8th home game in the ISL at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. Historically, Kerala Blasters have defeated the Stallions 4 times.
FC Pune City is coming at the back of 2 consecutive wins at home and will aim to complete the hat-trick of wins for the first time in the history of IPL. They also have a chance to claim the top spot with a win tonight. Being the team with one of the best-attacking players of the league, FC Pune City has done exceptionally well in defense by conceding just 12 goals in the season so far.
On the other side, Kerala Blasters have lost just 4 games in the season but struggling because of lack of wins under their belt. With just 5 games remaining for them, Kerala Blasters will look to avoid the do-or-die situation going forward in the business end of the tournament.
FC Pune City
FC Pune City head coach Ranko Popovic seems to be quite happy with the all-around performance of his side. Labeled as one of the best-attacking sides, FC Pune City is also the joint best defensive side of the side with just 12 goals conceded. He believes that Kerala is one of the toughest opponents in the league and have a very organized defense.
With their main striker, Emiliano Alfaro is ill, we can expect Tebar and Kean Lewis to replace Alfaro and Rohit in the starting XI tonight. Popovic is most likely to stick to his favored formation of 4-2-3-1 with Marcelinho playing as a striker.
FC Pune City Probable Starting XI: Kaith, Lopez, Gurtej, Sahil, Adil, Tebar, Lucca, Issac, Carlos, Kean Lewis, Marcelinho.
KERALA BLASTERS FC
Kerala Blasters FC head coach David James accepts the fact that they are in a do-or-die situation right now and can’t afford to make mistakes anymore. He seems to be quite impressed with the performance of young players including the new recruit Deependra Negi.
With full squad available for selection tonight, we are expecting Lekic-Pesic and Negi to replace Milan Singh and Prasanth K in the starting XI from the previous game. The Englishman is expected to continue 4-1-4-1 formation to keep a balance between attack and defense.
Kerala Blasters FC Probable Starting XI: Subhasish, Jingan, Lekic-Pesic, Wes Brown, Lalrutthara, Pekuson, Jackichand, Deependra, Vineeth, Karan, Hume.
FC Pune City 1-1 Kerala Blasters FC
We are expecting both sides to share a point each with a similar result to the reverse fixture earlier this season. This result will surely make things difficult for the Yellow Army in the season.