Goa vs Kerala Blasters: Preview and Prediction
Manolo Marquez’s Goa is currently unbeaten in the ongoing season of the Indian Super League with five wins and a draw in the first six league fixtures.
After their inaugural fixture of the season against Hyderabad was postponed, the Gaurs commenced their campaign with a 1-0 win over new ISL entrants Punjab. In the second match, they recorded a close 3-2 victory over Odisha with the help of a brace from Noah Sadoui and a late winner from Jay Gupta.
Marquez’s side kept the fairy tale run alive with another win after they defeated East Bengal 2-1 with goals in the second half by Sandesh Jhingan and Victor Rodriguez. Only Bengaluru managed to hold the Gaurs for a 0-0 draw at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
However, after the draw, Goa has kept two clean sheets, defeating Chennaiyin 3-0 and trouncing Jamshedpur 1-0.
On the other side, Ivan Vukomanovic’s Kerala Blasters are currently on the top of the league standings with 17 points in eight games. The Tuskers are having an eventful season as they have seen all three outcomes in addition to a lot of drama. After two wins in their inaugural matches, Kerala Blasters’ winning run ended again in Mumbai City.
The Tuskers then played a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United and Vukomanovic’s side went on to record three consecutive wins over Odisha, East Bengal, and Hyderabad.
The Tuskers played their last match against Chennaiyin, which ended as a thrilling 3-3 draw. Rahim Ali scored in the first minute of the match to give Chennaiyin an early lead. However, Dimitrios Diamantakos later equalized the scoreline with a penalty as the high-scoring match eventually ended in a draw.
The Gaurs have won all of their three home matches this season and are currently on an eight-match unbeaten streak in all competitions while Kerala Blasters’ away record has been a point of concern as the Tuskers have won only a single game in their last five away fixtures.
Head to Head Record
Goa and Kerala Blasters have locked horns against each other on 18 occasions. Interestingly, the Gaurs have dominated the rivalry with ten wins while the Tuskers have recorded only four wins.
The Gaurs are expected to face Ivan Vukomanovic’s Kerala Blasters at Fatorda Stadium at full strength on Sunday as no suspensions have been recorded from their side and the club’s medical staff can boast of a clean health bill and an empty medical room in the club’s facilities.
On the other hand, Kerala Blasters defender Aiban Dohling has been sidelined for the whole season after suffering a horrific injury against Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City last month.
Moreover, Jeakson Singh is also out of action because of a shoulder injury. The young midfielder went through a successful medical procedure in the second week of November. After proper rehabilitation, he’s expected to make his return to the Tuskers after the conclusion of the AFC Asian Cup.
Goa (4-2-3-1): Arshdeep Singh, Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Sandesh Jhingan, Jay Gupta, Rowllin Borges, Carl McHugh, Boris Singh Thangjam, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadoui, Carlos Martinez
Kerala Blasters (4-4-2): Sachin Suresh, Sandeep Singh, Pritam Kotal, Milos Drincic, Prabir Das, Rahul KP, Vibin Mohanan, Danish Bhat, Adrián Luna, Kwame Peprah, Dimitris Diamantakos
The match between Goa and Kerala Blasters is expected to result in a thriller. However, if we consider the statistics and current form of both sides, the Gaurs are more likely to get the better of the Tuskers and record their sixth win of the season.
Moreover, if Manolo Marquez’s Goa wins, the Indian Super League table will have a new topper heading into the next match day.