Kerala Blasters FC will open its 2023-24 campaign with the Kerala derby, going up against rival Gokulam Kerala in the Durand Cup at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata on Sunday.
FOLLOW THE MATCH LIVE HERE: Kerala Blasters vs Gokulam Kerala score, KBFC v GKFC updates in Durand Cup 2023
The Blasters, which last played its full-strength squad (with foreigners) in the Indian Super League, saw its ISL campaign come to an end, following a controversial walkout against Bengaluru FC in the knockouts, will hope to start a new chapter in this Group C game.
Under head coach Ivan Vukoamanovic, KBFC has qualified for ISL knockouts in consecutive seasons for the first time and will hope the Serbian can lead it to its first trophy.
On the other hand, Gokulam Kerala, the Durand Cup 2019 champion will come into the match after a 2-0 win against the Indian Air Force Football Team in its opening game.
The two teams have never faced each other at the national level in senior football and the game would present an opportunity for either side to gain supremacy as the best team in the state.
With defending champion Bengaluru FC waiting in the wings for both sides, the contest will not just be a derby but a chance for either side to bank on its hopes for the quarterfinals.
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