ISL 2018/19: Kerala Blasters gearing up to face mighty BFC in South Indian rivalry


XtraTime Web Desk:
Exciting game on cards as eyes will be on the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Monday as Kerala Blasters to host an outstanding Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19. Both teams are unbeaten this season so far and will be looking to get all three points from the crunch tie.

The Kerala-Bengaluru rivalry may be relatively new in the Hero ISL, but the competition between the two teams have been fierce in their meetings last season. Both fixtures offered plenty of drama and a lot of late goals to go with it. In fact, five of the six goals scored in these two matches have come in the added minutes of the second half. With both teams hailing from the southern part of the country and boasting of two of the most dedicated fan bases in the Hero ISL, Monday’s fixture promises to be a treat.

Kerala Blasters: Kerala may be undefeated this season but have only managed to win one of their five matches so far, with the rest ending in draws. David James’ men have looked like a potent side going forward and have registered at least one goal in all of their matches so far. The forward players like Matej Poplatnik, Slavisla Stojanovic, Halicharan Narzary and CK Vineeth seem to have gelled well and all of them have registered their names on the score sheet. Seiminlen Doungel has looked like a creative force linking up the midfield with the attack and already has three assists to his name. However, the Kerala side has been far from clinical in front of goal. The team is playing well and creating a lot of chances, but the goal conversion rate has left much to be desired. In their last match against FC Pune City, the men in yellow had a whopping 27 shots at goal and managed to score only once to claim a 1-1 draw.

Bengaluru FC: Under Carles Cuadrat, Bengaluru has hit the ground running this Hero ISL season. With three wins and a draw in their opening four matches, the Hero ISL 2017-18 finalists have already looked like a force to be reckoned with. The Blues’ famed attacking duo of Sunil Chhetri and Miku have looked as dangerous as ever, with both scoring three goals each. Miku, in particular, will be the person of interest in the match considering the Venezuelan has made it a habit to score in away matches. The 33-year-old has an exceptional goal-scoring record on the road and has netted 13 times in the 12 away fixtures he has featured in. His equaliser against ATK in Bengaluru’s last match made him the most successful goal scorer in away matches in Hero ISL history, as he went past Iain Hume’s record of 12 away goals in 27 matches.

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