ISL 2018-19: Kerala Blasters vs Mumbai City FC - 3 key player battles
On Friday Kerala Blasters will take on Mumbai City FC in front of the yellow sea at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
The home side will be coming into the match on a high after winning their first ever match in Kolkata against ATK in the season opener while the visitors will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing their opening match.
Kerala has a very good record at home and have one of the best defences in the league while Mumbai City perhaps has one of the best midfield in the league.
Let's take a look at a few key battles that would decide the outcome of this fixture.
#3 Rafael Bastos vs Sandesh Jhingan
The 33-year old attacking midfielder Rafael Bastos without a doubt pose as a major threat to the strong Kerala Blasters defence. With the experience of playing in the Champions League and first division of the Portuguese and Brazilian leagues, the 6'1 tall Brazilian will be a handful for the Indian international.
Strong dribbling skills along with a knack to score crucial goals make Rafael Bastos a very dangerous forward to face off against.
Arguably best centre-back in India at the moment, Sandesh Jhingan has been at the heart and soul of the Kerala Blasters defence from the first season onwards.
With a total of 58 matches played with 383 clearances 73 interceptions and 147 tackles, Jhingan is one of the best defenders in the league.
Safety first attitude, good strength, leading the defensive line and an ability to create goal scoring opportunities from the back makes Jhingan a defensive as well as an attacking threat.