With the World Cup extravaganza done and dusted, club football around the world for the upcoming season has just started to reignite itself. After the dramatic IFA Shield final last week between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters are up next in line to begin their pre-season.
The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side will lock horns with Hyundai A-League giants Melbourne City FC in the Toyota Yaris LaLiga World India Opener on Tuesday at 7 PM. Both the teams have registered their full squads for the tournament, thus making the tie extremely pivotal in assessing the Indian clubs at the apex level of Asian Club Football. Spanish La Liga Side Girona FC is the other team taking part in the star-studded pre-season tournament.
Sources from Kerala Blasters indicate that goalkeeper Sujith Sasikumar is out of the opening game due to an injury. Reports also suggest that their key striker CK Vineeth has sustained an injury as well. However, the Kannur-based forward is expected to start against the 'City Blues' as they are known as in Australia.
On the contrary, Melbourne City has all it's registered players available for the opening game. The duo of Dario Vidosic and Bruno Furnaroli can wreack havoc against the Blasters if Jhingan and co. are not cautious today. The Blues have never won the A-League since it's inception in 2005. However, they have featured in the finals for a record five times.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming match:
Date: July 24, 2018
Match: Kerala Blasters vs Melbourne City
Time: 7 PM Indian Standard Time (IST)
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi
Broadcast: As the STAR and FOX Network have clinched the rights for this tournament. STAR SPORTS 2, HD 2 will broadcast all the matches in India.
Live Stream: Hotstar
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In Indian Football's rich Football History, seldom there has been such fan-fare around a pre-season tournament. Will the Indian Super League finally prove it's mettle against the best of Asia, who the A-League side will triumph at the end of it? Pin down your opinions in the comment section.Published 24 Jul 2018, 17:05 IST