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ISL 2017, Match 36: Kerala Blasters FC vs Bengaluru FC, Probable XI

ANALYST
Feature
1.49K   //    31 Dec 2017, 15:15 IST

Kerala is gearing up for the iconic clash on New Year's Eve
Kerala is gearing up for the iconic clash on New Year's Eve

Kerala Blasters FC are going to host their southern rivals Bengaluru FC in the last ISL game of the year at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The fans cannot wish for a better game and venue to enjoy on New Year’s Eve.

Kerala Blasters have remained unbeaten in their last 2 games and will surely look for their 2nd win of this season. The Men in Yellow cannot wish for a better New Year gift for the Yellow Brigade other than a derby victory at home against their arch-rivals.

On the other side, Bengaluru FC are visiting Kochi at the back of 2 consecutive losses to Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC. Their previous game against Jamshedpur was the only game of ISL 2017 where they have failed to find the back of the net. The Blues are eagerly waiting to end their poor run and join the top teams in the league table. 

Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters are playing after a long break of 9 days from their derby draw against Chennaiyin FC. With the support of home fans, Kerala Blasters will aim for their first derby win of the season tonight. Kerala head coach Rene Meulensteen always treats a derby game differently and is going to do the same here.

Dimitar Berbatov has recovered from the injury but we are expecting him make an appearance as an early substitute instead of a starting XI spot. Meulensteen is expected to go unchanged from the previous derby. He will continue to use the 4-2-3-1 formation to keep the defence strong.

Kerala Blasters FC Probable Starting XI: Paul, Shadap, Jhingan, Pesic, Lalrutthara, Wes Brown, Hanghal, Vineeth, Pekuson, Jackichand, Sifneos.

Kerala Blasters probable starting XI
Kerala Blasters probable starting XI

Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC seems to have lost the kind of start they had in the league. Bengaluru assistant coach Naushad Moosa believes that other teams are settling down slowly which is making it more difficult for them to win. Bengaluru have won their last two away fixtures and he is confident that his boys can continue in similar fashion.

With no injury concerns in the side, we are expecting Lenny and Johnson to replace Dimas Delgado and Subhasish Bose in the starting XI. Roca will continue with his favored formation of 4-2-3-1 to keep a balance in attack and defence. 

Bengaluru FC Probable Starting XI: Gurpreet, Khabra, Juanan, Bose, Bheke, Lenny, Paartalu, Garcia, Dovale, Chhetri, Miku.

Bengaluru FC probable starting XI
Bengaluru FC probable starting XI

Injuries

Kerala Blasters : Rino Anto will miss out on the action due to the hamstring injury he picked up against Chennaiyin FC while Dimitar Berbatov is expected to start the game on the bench

Bengaluru FC will be without the services of Udanta Singh (ankle), Braulio Nobrega (injured), John Johnson (family emergency).

Prediction

Kerala Blasters FC 0-1 Bengaluru FC

Considering the strong defence of both sides, we are expecting a cagy affair at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. However, Bengaluru FC are expected to find their way back into the league with a win on New Year Eve.

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