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"We will play with our best possible line-up," says Kerala Blasters coach Kibu Vicuna ahead of Mumbai City FC test

Sahal Abdul Samad of Kerala Blasters FC during a training session (Image courtesy: ISL)
Sahal Abdul Samad of Kerala Blasters FC during a training session (Image courtesy: ISL)
ANALYST
Modified 02 Jan 2021, 15:16 IST
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Kerala Blasters picked up their first win of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season with a 2-0 scoreline over Hyderabad FC in their last match. The result was exactly what the doctor ordered as the Blasters had been searching for a good result to turn their fortunes around.

Head coach Kibu Vicuna will look to take that momentum into their next game against the ISL title favorites, Mumbai City FC. Speaking ahead of the fixture, Vicuna stated that he is happy with the way his side has prepared to tackle the Islanders.

“They are a good team with very good players. They are playing well and are one of the best teams in ISL. We are improving in the training sessions and are happy with the way we are training,” Vicuna said.

The Spaniard also expressed his happiness after Sahal Abdul Samad decided to extend his contract with the club. The talented youngster penned a deal that will keep him with the Kerala Blasters till the end of the 2025 season. The 23-year-old has been one of the most important members of the club in recent times, with the 2-0 win over Hyderabad coinciding with his return from injury.

“Sahal has the qualities to play on the outside and inside. He is a player good in possession and also good in transitions. He is improving every day. The best of Sahal is yet to come. He knows he is an important player for us,” Vicuna said.

Costa, Hooper, and Kone might return to Kerala Blasters squad for Mumbai City game

The previous game against Hyderabad FC saw Costa Nhamoinesu, Bakary Kone, and Gary Hooper omitted from the squad, a move that raised eyebrows. However, Vicuna confirmed that all three players had picked up injuries in the previous game and have returned to training this week.

“We will play with the team that we think is going to be the best. Both Sandeep and Hakku played well. They are training well with more confidence. Costa, Hooper, and Kone are training. We will play with our best possible line-up which you'll know only by tomorrow," the Kerala Blasters coach said on Friday.

Vicuna also stated that the players, who were involved in the game against Hyderabad FC, are eager to play in this match too.

“Everyone wants to play. Every day we are thinking about the best team to play. Yes, we made five changes (in the last match) and the team performed well, and we won. The players, who came in, want to stay in the team and continue playing,” the Kerala Blasters gaffer added.

The Kerala Blasters will face off against Mumbai City FC on January 2 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.

Published 02 Jan 2021, 14:32 IST
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