In quest of the top position on the Indian Super League points table, FC Goa will host Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.
The third-placed hosts are engaged in a three-way contest with former champions ATK and defending champions Bengaluru FC for the coveted place atop the ISL standings. The top team of the ongoing ISL season for the first time will qualify for the AFC Champions League, the privilege that belonged to the I-League table until the All India Football Federation had bestowed the status of India’s premier club football league on ISL from this season.
FC Goa at home will be going all out for a win and two points that will enable them move past table toppers Bengaluru FC, who have 25 points from 14 outings. ATK and FC Goa are 24 points each after having played 13 matches apiece.
“I think from now every match is a final, for us and all teams in the same situation. It’s a very important match and we have to move step by step,” FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera has said going into the match against the Kerala outfit.
Kerala Blasters, languishing at the 8th position in the 10-team league, too will not be prepared to give an inch as the team still remains hopeful of taking advantage of their theoretical, slim chances of finishing in the top four.
“Chances are still there (of getting top-four). We had a good session yesterday. I don’t focus on results. I focus on the process. If the process is good then results will come. As long as nothing is decided, we keep going,” said Kerala Blasters coach Eelco Schattorie.
Expected starting XIs:
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Mourtada Fall, Seriton Fernandes, Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes, Jackichand Telem, Lenny Rodrigues, Mandar Rao Dessai, Hugo Boumous, Ferran Corominas
Kerala Blasters FC: TP Rehenesh (GK), Mohamad Rakip, Jessel Carneiro, Raju Gaikwad, Vlatko Drobarov, Mario Arques, Halicharan Narzary, Seityasen Irom, Mouhamadou Gning, Messi Bouli, Bartholomew Ogbeche
The match with the preview and review shows will be broadcast LIVE and Exclusive from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Bangla. The feed will also be streamed on Hotstar and JioTV from 7:15 pm.