ISL: Kerala Blasters FC take on Bengaluru FC in southern derby

Kerala will look to continue its winning run while Bengaluru FC will look to return to winning ways.
Keralal Blasters practising ahead of game
Keralal Blasters practising ahead of gameANI

KOCHI: The Indian Super League (ISL) will witness a Southern derby for the first time in the season as rivals Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters lock horns on Sunday at Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Blasters have won four of their past five ISL games, while the Blues have dropped five of their last six, so it will be a battle of contrasting teams. Kerala will look to continue its winning run while Bengaluru FC will look to return to winning ways.

For the first time in ISL history, Kerala Blasters have won four straight games during their recent run. The Blasters have scored eight goals in their last four games, keeping clean sheets in three of those contests. Last week, Kerala Blasters FC won all three points in Jamshedpur thanks to a spectacular Dimitrios Diamantakos goal in the 17th minute. Together with Kaliuzhnyi, the Greek striker tied for the club's most goals this season. In eight games, each player has already scored four goals.

"We know this is a very important game for people in Kerala. We as a team like to play this kind of game. When you have the mind of a football player, you want to compete and prefer to play games like this every weekend. We are looking forward to an interesting game tomorrow. May the better team win," said Vukomanovic, ahead of the match as quoted by ISL website. Bengaluru FC broke their losing streak two weeks ago, but they suffered another loss last week against ATK Mohun Bagan at home. Bengaluru FC has only scored four goals in eight games, which is a season-low shared with NorthEast United FC. With the addition of Pablo Perez, the Blues will be hoping for a change. The club signed the Spanish offensive midfielder to bolster the midfield and attack's strength.

In addition to having room for a foreign player in his starting lineup, Bengaluru head coach Simon Grayson has the option of benching a midfielder in order to use the Spanish center-back pairing of Javi Hernandez and Perez. Hernandez is the team's leading scorer so far this season after netting a brace against FC Goa two weeks ago. (ANI) The Blues have won six of the 10 ISL games between these two teams, thus the record books favor the visitors. Only twice have the Blasters prevailed, and two of their games have resulted in draws.

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