ISL 2019-20: Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC match prediction, preview and where to watch
The ISL returns on Saturday, after a disappointing international break for the Indian national team, with a blockbuster clash in Bengaluru, as defending champions Bengaluru FC host their southern rivals Kerala Blasters FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with both sides looking to hit consistent form after a mixed start to the season.
Bengaluru had three draws in their first three games before they handed out a shellacking to Chennaiyin FC in the last game before the international break, with Erik Paartalu inspiring a 3-0 win in his first game of the season.
The Blasters, meanwhile, haven't won since the opening day against ATK, with losses to Mumbai City FC at home and Hyderabad FC away followed by a home draw against Odisha FC.
With a home clash against FC Goa and a trip to Mumbai next for Eelco Schattorie's men, the Dutchman will be looking for his side to take some momentum into those fixtures by picking up their first-ever win over Bengaluru.
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC: Match Information
Date: 23rd November 2019
Kickoff: 7:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC: Team News
For Bengaluru, Albert Serran is expected to be ruled out with a muscle injury that he picked up in the draw in Jamshedpur. That means it is unlikely that Carles Cuadrat will tinker with the midfield that came up trumps against Chennaiyin, as Paartalu along with Dimas Delgado and Raphael Augusto managed to run rings around a Chennaiyin side that looked bereft of ideas.
Sunil Chhetri, who broke his season duck in that game against Chennaiyin but could well have had a hat-trick, is expected to lead the line once again.
Jairo Rodrigues is injured, and although the Blasters have released a statement saying he would be out for a considerable period of time, the Brazilian himself took to social media to say that he'll be back in two weeks.
Gianni Zuiverloon remains absent, but in some positive news, Mario Arques is expected to be fit and return to action after the injury he picked up in the opening match.
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC: Probable Lineups
Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Rahul Bheke, Juanan Gonzalez, Nishu Kumar, Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Raphael Augusto, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri
Kerala Blasters FC: TP Rehenesh, Mohammad Rakip, Abdul Hakku, Raju Gaikwad, Jessel Carneiro, Mario Arques, Mouhamadou Gning, Sergio Cidoncha, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Rahul KP, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC: ISL Form Guide
Bengaluru FC: W-D-D-D-W
Kerala Blasters FC: D-L-L-W-L
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC Head-to-Head
This will be the 5th meeting between the two sides in the ISL, after Bengaluru joined the league in the 2017-18 season.
Bengaluru hold the upper hand, with the defending champions having failed to win against Kerala Blasters only once. That was in a 2-2 draw at the Kanteerava in February, after goals from Chhetri and Udanta helped them overturn a 0-2 deficit.
Bengaluru FC wins: 3
Kerala Blasters wins: 0
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC Prediction
Bengaluru are slightly better placed than Kerala, especially because of their defence. The champions have conceded one goal in four games, while Kerala are once again likely to be forced into fielding an experimental all-Indian rearguard, after being ravaged by injury.
With Bengaluru looking the more settled side, and a vociferous West Block expected to be at its loudest on Saturday, it's hard to look past the defending champions notching up their second win of the campaign.
Prediction: Bengaluru FC 2-0 Kerala Blasters FCModified 21 Dec 2019, 01:06 IST