Kerala Blasters vs Hyderabad: Preview and Prediction

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Kerala Blasters have had the perfect start to their campaign

The second match of Matchday 7 of the 2023/24 Indian Super League season will see a high-voltage Southern Derby on the cards, as Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad will cross swords. The match will take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, on Saturday at 7:30 pm IST.

Kerala Blasters had plenty of obstacles outside the pitch at the start of the season, but none of those have had any effect on their performances. The Tuskers have got off to a superb start, with four wins and 13 points in six games. They are placed second in the league standings.

On the other hand, the current Hyderabad side is nothing more than a shadow of their glorious 2021-22 team, which lifted the title. Besides newly-promoted Punjab, the Nizams are the only team who are yet to win a match this season. With just three points in six games, they are placed 11th, avoiding the last position only because of their goal difference.

What have they done so far?

Kerala Blasters set the tone for the season right from the first match itself. Against Bengaluru, a Keziah Veendorp own goal and Adrian Luna goal helped the Blasters get a hard-fought 2-1 win in one of the fiercest rivalries in this competition.

The Tuskers then defeated Jamshedpur 1-0, but the winning run came to an end when they met Mumbai City in their third game, suffering a 1-2 defeat in an ill-disciplined affair.

Ivan Vukomanovic’s team took their time to bounce back from that loss as they could only get a 1-1 draw despite having come advantage in the next game against NorthEast United. But with their coach returning to the dugout, Kerala Blasters defeated East Bengal 2-1 in their last game courtesy of goals from Daisuke Sakai and Dimitrios Diamantakos.

Hyderabad’s performance so far has been a tale of two halves. They were absolutely abysmal in the first half, losing three consecutive matches. The Nizams started their campaign with a 1-2 defeat against East Bengal, before losing against Jamshedpur and Chennaiyin, both by 0-1 margins.

But to be fair to Thangboi Singto’s players, they have looked better in their last three matches, where they might not have won but have not lost either. Hyderabad restricted Mumbai City to a 1-1 draw in their fourth match, before playing out the same scoreline against Bengaluru and Punjab.

Head to Head Record

Despite the disparity in current form, matches between Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad always tend to be close affairs as shown by the head-to-head records. These two teams have met on nine occasions in the ISL, where Hyderabad has won five games, while the Tuskers have won four.

One of those five wins of the Nizams came in the last meeting, which took place in February this year. Hyderabad got a 1-0 win in that match, with Spanish midfielder Borja Herrera being the lone goal-scorer.

Team News

Though his team are on a roll, Vukomanovic is expected to make plenty of changes to his team because of the circumstances. In the backline, both Prabir Das and Milos Drincic can feature again after serving their three-match suspensions.

Prabir Das could return to the Kerala Blasters’ starting XI after serving his suspension

Das could replace Sandeep Singh, while to accommodate Drincic, Ruivah Hormipam could be asked to make way. But at the same team, Dimitrios Diamantakos will not be available after being handed marching orders in the last match against East Bengal. 

In his absence, Adrian Luna could be asked to pair up alongside Kwame Peprah in attack. As for the vacant left-winger’s slot, Rahul KP could be handed a start against Hyderabad.

On the other hand, Singto could make a few changes to the Hyderabad side, considering facing Kerala Blasters will not be the same as facing Punjab. Given the defensive troubles of his team, star central defender Oswaldo Alanis might start in this match in Nim Dorjee Tamang’s place.

But to accommodate that, Singto will have to sacrifice an overseas player for an Indian, which could see Joe Knowles making way for Mohammad Yasir.

Predicted Starting XIs

Kerala Blasters (4-4-2): Sachin Suresh; Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Milos Drinci, Naocha Huidrom Singh; Daisuke Sakai, Vibin Mohanan, Danish Farooq, Rahul KP; Kwame Peprah, Adrian Luna.

Hyderabad (3-4-2-1): Gurmeet Singh; Nikhil Poojary, Oswaldo Alanis, Chinglensana Singh; Mohammad Yasir, Joao Victor, Abdul Rabeeh, Mark Zothanpuia; Petteri Pennanen, Felipe Amorim; Aaren D’Silva.


Hyderabad might have a superior head-to-head record against Kerala Blasters, but there has been a drastic drop-off in performance and squad strength for the Nizams over the last few months. The Tuskers, though, have only gone from strength to strength and are the favorites to win this match.