Kerala Blasters vs Goa: Preview and Prediction

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Goa would be aiming to snap out of their losing streak

The last fixture of Matchday 16 of the 2023-24 Indian Super League season will see fifth-placed Kerala Blasters host fourth-placed Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi from 7:30 PM IST on Sunday.

The Gaurs’ head coach Manolo Marquez Roca talked about the two-match losing streak and also discussed the atmosphere at the stadium in Kochi along with his experience of the league in the first two years. 

The Spaniard said,

“Every time you lose, you have to react when there are few matches left at the end of the season. It was amazing to play against Kerala Blasters last season. The stadium was full and the experience was fantastic. To play without anybody in the stands is terrible and I was depressed in my first two years in India as the fans were at home due to Covid.”

Current Form

The Gaurs hadn’t lost any fixture in their first 12 fixtures of the ongoing ISL season but have suffered a blip of late losing consecutive matches to Mohun Bagan Super Giant and NorthEast United.

Marquez’s men have 28 points from 14 matches courtesy of eight wins, four draws, and two losses. Since, the resumption of the league season, the Margao-based club has faltered winning a solitary match against Hyderabad 2-0, followed by a 1-1 draw against league leaders Odisha.

Kerala Blasters are currently in the fifth position in the league standings with 26 points from 15 matches, having won eight of those fixtures while they have tasted five defeats at the hands of Mumbai City, Goa, Odisha, Punjab, and Chennaiyin.

The Ivan Vukamanovic-led side was having a great season before the break enforced due to the AFC Asian Cup and since then, the Blasters have gone down to the Kalinga Warriors, the Northern Shers, and even 10-men Marina Machans as the loss of Kwame Peprah and Adrian Luna is being direly felt by the misfiring attack.

Head to Head Record

Historically, Goa has had the upper hand in this fixture across all competitions, having defeated Kerala Blasters 11 times so far. On the other hand, the Kochi-based side has won 4 out of the  19 matches with four matches ending as a draw.

The reverse fixture in the league saw Goa defeat Kerala Blasters 1-0 at the Fatorda Stadium courtesy of a Rowllin Borges goal. 

Team News

Sachin Suresh would be a huge miss for Kerala Blasters

In the first half of the match against Chennaiyin, Sachin Suresh had to be taken off with a shoulder injury and the 38-year old Karanjit Singh had to fill in for the first-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the match. The youngster has been ruled out of the remainder of the season which adds to Vukamanovic’s woes in the medical room.

For Goa, there are no fresh suspensions or injury issues and the team is on a united front and would be looking to battle hard against the Blasters who are missing several key players to injury. Leander D’Cunha has resumed training for the Gaurs and might be given a chance if he is deemed fit enough to participate in the match.

Predicted Starting XIs

Kerala Blasters (4-4-2): Karanjit Singh; Pritam Kotal, Milos Drincic, Ruivah Hormipam, Naocha Singh; Daisuke Sakai, Danish Farooq, Jeakson Singh, Mohammed Aimen; Dimitrios Diamantakos; Fedor Cernych

Goa (4-2-3-1): Arshdeep Singh; Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Carl McHugh, Jay Gupta; Rowlin Borges, Ayush Chhetri; Boris Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadaoui; Carlos Martinez


The fans can expect another thriller on their plate as both sides will be eager to break their losing streaks. The fans in Kochi usually turn out in huge numbers which would prove to be a huge advantage for Kerala Blasters who are direly looking for a win ahead of matches against Bengaluru, MBSG, and East Bengal.

On the other hand, Goa has lost two matches on the bounce at home and would be looking at this trip as a blessing in disguise.