Kerala Blasters vs Odisha: Preview and Prediction
The Tuskers as well as the Kalinga Warriors have failed to record consistent wins in their few initial fixtures and both sides will be desperate to get a positive result from the upcoming match.
Kerala Blasters started their Indian Super League campaign against old rivals Bengaluru at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium and defeated the Blues 2-1 to avenge the defeat in 2022-23 ISL knockouts. The Blasters later locked horns against the Red Miners and won 1-0 courtesy of an Adrian Luna goal.
A controversial result was witnessed in the match between Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City and Kerala Blasters. Danish Farooq Bhat’s goal was not enough to get the Blasters over the line as the Islanders won 2-1 as Yoell van Nieff and Milos Drincic were sent off by the referee after they were indulged in a heated confrontation in added time.
After the international break, the Tuskers played a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United as Danish once again got on the scoresheet but the Kerala-based club failed to keep a clean sheet at the back.
On the other hand, Odisha comfortably defeated Chennaiyin 2-0 in their first match with the help of goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Deigo Mauricio. Playing at the Kalinga Stadium, the Juggernauts later held Mumbai City for a 2-2 draw in their second match.
The Kalinga Warriors played their last Indian Super League match on October 7 against Goa. Odisha looked satisfied with a draw at the 90-minute mark but a late winner from Goa’s Jay Gupta stripped them of a single point.
The Juggernauts might have been out of action for almost three weeks in the ISL but Odisha recently trashed Maziya S&RC with the scoreline of 6-1 at Kalinga Stadium. As a result, they will be heading towards the next fixture with immense confidence.
Head to Head Record
Kerala Blasters and Odisha have locked horns against each other for a total of 20 times. The Tuskers have managed to win eight matches while the Kalinga Warriors have walked out victorious on five occasions. The remaining seven matches between the two sides have ended in a draw.
Last season, Kerala Blasters defeated Odisha 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi. On the other side, Odisha’s Pedro Martin and Jerry Mawihmingthanga scored against Kerala Blasters in their home leg and helped the Kalinga Warriors defeat the Tuskers 2-1
Ivan Vukomanovic’s Kerala Blasters will be heading towards their fifth ISL match of the 2023-24 season with a couple of their important players. Aibanbha Dohling has been ruled out from the playing XI for a long period.
Croatian defender Marko Leskovic is yet to regain full fitness from his Injury while Milos Drincic has been suspended for three matches due to disciplinary issues. Hence, the two central defenders will also be missing Kerala’s game against Odisha.
Just before the Tuskers were going to face NorthEast United, AIFF also announced the three-match suspension for Prabir Das limiting the Blasters to a few options in defense.
Unlike Kerala Blasters, no injuries or suspensions have been reported from the side of Sergio Lobera’s Odisha. The Kalinga Warriors also recorded an important win over Dhivehi Premier League side Maziya Sports and Recreation Club by 6-1. Hence, they’ll be looking forward to giving a confident performance.
Kerala Blasters (4-2-2-2): Sachin Suresh, Sandeep Singh, Hormipam Ruivah, Pritam Kotal, Naocha Singh, Vibin Mohanan, Danish Farooq, Adrian Luna, Daisuke Sakai, Kwame Peprah, Dimitrios Diamantakos
Odisha (4-3-1-2): Amrinder Singh, Narender Gahlot, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Delgado, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Thoiba Singh, Puitea, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Roy Krishna, Deigo Mauricio
At home, Kerala Blasters will be backed by a huge crowd on Friday as Odisha comes to town. Lobera knows how to grind out a win from the toughest of circumstances and the Bhubaneswar-based club would be hoping to walk away from the land of Kerala with three points in the bag.