Odisha vs Kerala Blasters: Preview and Prediction

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Luna and Diamantakos’ availability could be a game-changer for Kerala Blasters

The hustle and bustle of the Indian Super League is set to continue in the knockouts now which will see Odisha take on Kerala Blasters in a do-or-die clash on the 19th of April at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar from 7:30 PM IST onwards. Odisha will be playing the game at home on account of finishing higher on the table as compared to Kerala Blasters.

The home side ended the league stage finishing 4th on the table, with 39 points from 22 games. Sergio Lobera’s men were setting the pace in the first half of the league, but their season clearly derailed following the loss to East Bengal in the final of the Kalinga Super Cup towards the end of January. Since then, they picked up only 14 points from the 30 on offer and also suffered an ignominious exit from the AFC Cup Inter-zonal Semi-final.

As things stand, the Juggernauts will be focused on winning the ISL Trophy at all costs to ensure a season that began with a lot of hope does not end with disappointment. They will also have the support of their vociferous fans as well as the fact that they are currently unbeaten in 16 home games across all competitions.

The story for the Kerala Blasters has been somewhat similar to that of Odisha in the league, except their loss of form at the business end of the season has been due to the plethora of injuries that they have suffered. Finishing 5th on the table with 33 points from 22 games, the Yellow Army have managed to pick up only 4 points in their last 5 games and have conceded the second-highest goals (31) amongst the top six in the league.

Head coach Ivan Vukomanovic will further be wary of the fact that his side have not kept a clean sheet in their last 13 games across all competitions, but the possible returns of some of his key players may boost his confidence ahead of this critical clash. 

Current Form

Odisha suffered a 0-3 loss to North East United in their last clash, with Lobera opting to rest some of his key players for the fixture. Their recent form has not been happy reading for the Juggernauts, with their only win in March coming against Punjab.

Recent losses to Mumbai City and Chennaiyin in the league as well as points dropped to Bengaluru will continue to haunt the Odisha faithful for a while. Having failed to score in two of their last five games, Lobera will be hoping his frontline fires at home when he needs them the most.

Kerala Blasters are coming off a 3-1 win against Hyderabad in their last league fixture, with Mohammed Aimen, Daisuke Sakai, and Nihal Sudeesh finding the back of the net. 

It was, however, their first win in 6 games which is further reflected by the fact that in 4 of those clashes, both sides have scored goals. Keeping clean sheets has been a headache for Ivan and his boys and that is something they will desperately want to rectify in Bhubaneshwar.

Head to Head Record

The two sides have faced each other 10 times, with Odisha bagging 3 wins and Kerala Blasters having 4 victories to their name.

They last faced each other on 2nd February in the league, which saw the Juggernauts triumph 2-1 at home thanks to a brace from Roy Krishna while Dimitri Diamantakos bagged the consolation goal for the away side.

Team News

All eyes will be on Roy and Diego to fire for Odisha

Since all yellow cards have been wiped out before the playoff stage kicks off, both sides will be unaffected by suspensions.

While Lobera’s men are not affected by any injuries, the Blasters will be welcoming some of their most potent players back into the side. According to several reports, Adrian Luna would be returning to the side which will be a big boost for Vukamanovic who is also sweating over the availability of Diamantakos.

Predicted Starting XIs

Odisha (4-2-3-1): Amrinder Singh; Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Narender Gahlot, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Ahmed Jahouh, Puitea; Roy Krishna, Princeton Rebello, Isak Vanlalruatfela; Diego Mauricio

Kerala Blasters (4-4-2): Lara Sharma; Sandeep Singh, Ruivah Hormipam, Miloš Drinčić, Naocha Singh; Rahul KP, Vibin Mohanan, Jeakson Singh, Daisuke Sakai; Adrian Luna, Dimitrios Diamantakos


It will be an even-steven clash but if Luna and Diamantakos can make the cut, Kerala Blasters will certainly be the favorites to go through. Odisha’s best chances lie with Roy Krishna and Diego Mauricio both finding their form in front of the goal but the duo have been misfiring lately and could crumble to the pressure that comes with the knockouts.