Image Courtesy a Indian Super League Media Team.
Kerala Blasters FC
1900 IST, 27 October 2015
Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune
FC Pune City play host to Kerala Blasters in match 22 of the Indian Super League at the Balewadi Sports Complex. Both teams come into the match having lost their previous matches and would be looking to turnaround their fortunes by winning this match. While FC Pune City are perched at the third spot in the table 1 points behind leaders FC Goa, Kerala Blasters find themselves at the last spot in the league standings.
Team News And Tactical Brief
FC Pune City
Having lost two of their last three games, the home match comes at the right time for David Platt, as it gives them the opportunity to regroup after a 2-1 loss to Chennaiyin FC in their previous match. With the matches coming in thick and fast and the league table looking competitive, it is expected that David Platt will field his strongest team in his quest for the three points. Former Stoke City custodian Steve Simonsen, who has been in impressive form in the Indian Super League, is expected to start under the post for the Stallions, while the heart of the defense will be manned by Gourmangi Singh and Argentine Diego Colotto who looks set to replace Roger Johnson from the team that started against Chennaiyin. Mohun Bagan defender Pritam Kotal could get a look in after Dharmaraj Ravanan struggled in the match against Chennaiyin while Nick Shorey despite a forgetful outing against Chennaiyin looks set to retain his place in the team
Skipper Didier Zokora is expected to sit in front of the back four and do the dirty work of breaking down Kerala Blasters. While Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who has earned praise from David Platt in recent times, will partner Zokora in the heart of FC Pune City midfield. Jackichand Singh who scored the fastest goal of the season against Atletico de Kolkata will lineup on the left side of the midfield while Bikas Jairu could replace Manish Mathaini on the right side. Kalu Uche, who scored after coming on a substitute in the last match, is expected to start upfront and will be accompanied by former Turkish international Tuncay Sanli, who has failed to scored since scoring a brace in the opening match against Mumbai City FC.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Simonsen; Nick Shorey, Gourmangi Singh, Deigo Colotto, Pritam Kotal; Jackichand Singh, Didier Zokora, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Bikas Jairu; Kalu Uche, Tuncay Sanli
Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters under the tutelage of Peter Taylor have managed just one win in their five encounters and lost their last match to FC Goa despite taking the lead. Former England U-21 goalkeeper Stephen Bywater has done a decent job under the bar for Kerala Blasters and looks all set for his sixth consecutive start. Taylor is expected to stick to his 5-3-2 formation with CK Vineeth and Rahul Bheke as the two wide men in the five man defense. Both Vineeth and Bheke have been seen surging ahead and the trend is expected to continue in this match as well. Sandesh Jhingan who had a stellar season last year with Kerala Blasters is expected to start in the heart of the defense with former Newcastle United defender Peter Ramage and Bruno Perone. The trio will have their task cut out against the pacy FC Pune City strikers and will have to be at their best if Kerala have to take any point out of this match.
JoA?o Coimbra, the former Portugese U-21 international troubled the FC Goa defenders with his pace and looks set to retain his place in the three man midfield. East Bengal midfielder Mehtab Hossain too had a good game against FC Goa and will be employed as a box to box midfielder in the middle third of the park. Carlos Marchena, Blasters’ s marquee player has featured in just one match so far but having recovered from the injury, the midfielder could start in this vital match. Mohammed Rafi has been in impressive form for the Sachin Tendullkar co-owned side and the former Mahindra United striker already has two goals to his name. The Keralite will once again be the key player for the Kerala side and he is expected to be accompanied in the attack by the former Arsenal player Sachez Watt.
Probable Starting Lineup (5-3-2): Stephen Bywater; CK Vineeth, Peter Ramage, Jhingan, Bruno Perone, Rahul Bheke; Mehtab Hossain, Carlos Marchena, JoA?o Coimbra; Sachez Watt, Rafi.
FC Pune City 2-1 Kerala Blasters FC
With both teams expected to play an attacking brand of football in a bid to win this match, fans in Pune will be treated to an exciting game of football. FC Pune City however are expected to come out all guns firing in a bid to win this match and go top of the table. TheHardTackle predicts a 2-1 win for the hosts.