Tough task for Blasters against Goa’s big guns

Kerala Blasters will host two of the league's top three goal scorers in Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote of FC Goa in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

Iain Hume (L) has four goals in his last three matches in the Indian Super League.   -  H. Vibu


It’s a team that has two of the Indian Super League’s top three goal scorers this season in Ferran Corominas, the chart topper with nine goals from nine games, and Manuel Lanzarote with seven.

The two Spaniards were at their explosive best as FC Goa thrashed Kerala Blasters 5-2 in Goa in early December and when two teams meet again at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday night, there could be a shiver in the home team.

For a side that played four of its first five games at home, the Blasters are currently trudging through the hardest part of the league, playing four matches in 12 days.

WORRYING STAT

There is also the worrying stat that the Blasters’ head coach David James spoke about.
 “I don’t think any team has won after they have travelled to Jamshedpur,” said the former England World Cupper on Saturday evening but he was quick to add “so we’ve got something to prove. If you prepare right, you’ll get the right results.”

James’ return as Blasters’ head coach this month, after the departure of Rene Meulensteen, has brought about a wonderful change. The team won two of its first three games under his charge before losing away to Jamshedpur four days ago.

The former England goalkeeper explained that his team was a much improved side from the one played Goa earlier.

“We may have the same players but I think we are a different team now than the last time,” he said. “And we’ve got the 12th man, the fantastic fans. Yes, it’s another tough game for us but we have to go for the three points.”

FOCUS ON HUME

Incidentally Iain Hume, the ISL’s highest-ever goal scorer, did not play in Goa and now that the Canadian his regained his form, the fans will be looking to him to guide Blasters past Goa.

Meanwhile, Goa head coach Sergio Lobero made it clear that his team would not hang on to the past and the previous easy victory when it plays Blasters.

“What happened in the past is past. We will not focus on that. If we think the game will be similar to what happened in Goa, we will be mightily confused,” said the Spaniard.

And though Goa’s defence had been shaky earlier, Lobero stressed that his team’s focus would be on attack.

“We are not going to give up on our offensive style of football but we will try and find the defensive balance when we play tomorrow,” he said.

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