Kerala Blasters will look to end its sequence of draws when it hosts a sprightly Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Monday.
The home side has its task cut against Bengaluru FC, having lost both its matches last season.
Sunil Chhetri and Venezuelan striker Miku have once again forged a dangerous partnership upfront for the Bengaluru side and are among goals this season. The Kerala Blasters defence, manned by captain Sandesh Jhingan, will have to be at its absolute best to neutralise the twin threats and prevent the visiting side from registering its third win of the season.
Miku and Chhetri have converted half-chances and more importantly have scored in the dying minutes this season. The Kerala Blasters’ defence cannot afford to lower its guard against the two strikers.
Bengaluru FC’s Spanish coach Carles Cuadrat acknowledged that the Kerala Blasters’ strength is its defence and said his team will have to put up a strong show on Monday. "It will be a tough match. The Kerala Blasters has a strong defence and with the crowd support it will be a hard game for us. It is difficult to win a point against this side," he said.
Despite the string of four consecutive draws, Kerala Blasters assistant coach Hermann Hreioarsson was upbeat and said his has really done well in those matches. "If you look at the figures in those matches, especially in the second half, we had more ball possession and created more chances than our rivals. There are certain areas which need attention and we are working on it," he stated.
The in-form striker CK Vineeth said it is a must win match for the Kerala Blasters and that his side is braced up for a tough match against the Bengaluru FC on Monday.
"There are no easy matches in ISL. Bengaluru is a pretty strong team but we will be playing hard against them. It all depends on execution of our plans and how well we play on that particular day. Except for the poor first half against Jamshedpur FC, I think we were in control in all other matches. Yes we conceded late goals but it happens it football. What happened is in the past and we are very confident that we can give Bengaluru a run for its money,’’ he said.