Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi
29 November 2015
Match 50 of the Indian Super League sees Zico and FC Goa make a trip to Kochi to face Kerala Blasters in quest of a win which will book their place in the semi-finals. The Guars have picked only two points in their last two matches and Zico will be eager to get his campaign back on track. Bottom placed Kerala Blasters however need nothing short of a miracle to qualify for the semifinals. The hosts have always enjoyed tremendous crowd support and will be looking to put up a good show in their last home game.
The reverse match earlier in the season saw FC Goa eke out a 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters. Mohammed Rafi’ s 24th minute opener was overshadowed by goals from Leo Moura and Gregory Arnolin
Team News and Tactical Brief
Having picked up a point in their last match against Mumbai City FC in Mumbai, Kerala Blasters come into the match knowing that nothing less than 3 points will kill their chances of a top four finish. Sandip Nandy who put in a decent performance under the bar in the last match looks set to get the nod once again. The duo of Sandesh Jhingan and Peter Ramage are expected to lead the four man backline which will see Deepak Mondal and Saumik Dey on the right and the left. The three man midfield will see Mehtab Hossain in his role as a deep lying midfielder. Former Portuguese youth international JoA?o Coimbra is expected to start on the right while the hardworking Josu will take his place on the left side of the midfield. The attack will be led by Chris Dagnall and Antonio German both of whom have five goals to their names while Cavin Lobo is expected to play in the hole behind the two strikers. Crowd favorite Mohammed Rafi could also be used as a second half substitute like the last match.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Nandy; Saumik, Jhingan, Ramage, Mondal; Josu, Hossain, Coimbra; Lobo; German, Dagnall.
The Guars missed out on picking up three points despite dominating the proceedings against NorthEast United FC in their last home match of the season. Zico would be looking to pick up three point in this match rather than waiting till the next match which is an away match against Delhi Dynamos. Lucio and Gr gory Arnolin are expected to led the defense and the duo will have to be wary of the pace of Dangnall and German. Nicolau Colcao should start on the right ahead of Raju Gaikwad who picked up a knock in the last match while Narayan Das will take his place on the left. Jofre is expected to return to the starting eleven after missing the last game. He is likely to be accompanied in the heart of the midfield by Leo Moura, who has been the focal point of FC Goa in the midfield this season. Jonatan Lucca and Mandar Rao Desai are expected to complete the four man midfield for the visitors. CS Sabeeth who failed to make any impact against NorthEast United is expected to be benched in favor of Haokip.
Probable Starting XI(4-4-2): Kattimani; Colcao, Lucio, Gregory, Das; Lucca, Leo, Jofre, Mandar; Dudu, Haokip.
Kerala Blasters 1- 2 FC Goa
Despite being a away match, coach Zico is expected to go all out for a win in order to qualify for the semifinals. FC Goa have quality and depth in their team which is likely to prove a bit to much for the hosts. TheHardTackle predicts a 2-1 win for the visitors.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media