Kerala Blasters are desperate to get back to winning ways against visiting NorthEast United after back-to-back defeats in the ISL.
The Tuskers went down 3-1 against FC Goa while ten men Highlanders received a thrashing from league leaders Mumbai City FC in the 4-0 defeat.
KBFC vs NEUFC Match Details
Date: Sunday, 29 January 2023
Time: 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi
KBFC vs NEUFC Match Preview
After going through an eight-game unbeaten run in the league, Kerala Blasters have succumbed to consecutive defeats with the 3-1 loss against FC Goa at Fatorda pulling them into the closely fought battle for the playoffs. Injuries were one of the factors that troubled the side facing Mumbai City FC and it translated to the game played last Sunday. The Tuskers faced huge problems in decent scoring opportunities in the last two matches while their defense was breached seven times after conceding just five in eight matches prior. This will worry manager Ivan Vukomanovic as his side have a six points comfort in the playoff spot sitting fourth on the table, overtaken by FC Goa after the defeat, but could lose it if their form continues to decline. Victory is much needed to displace the Gaurs from their position. Kerala Blasters will hope to get all three points against NorthEast United who have not collected any points away from home this season. However, with Highlanders bringing some reinforcements in the window with nothing to lose at the frag end of the season, they will try to be an obstacle for others in the league. The Tuskers though carry a winning record in Kochi in the last four games, scoring ten and conceding just four so the task should be easier.
It was another forgetful evening for NorthEast United as they suffered a crushing 4-0 loss to Mumbai City FC and also saw their striker Wilmar Jordan dismissed before half-time. Vincenzo Annese’s men did not concede any more goals in the second period with Mirshad Michu saving Jorge Pereyra Diaz’s penalty. But the result was a major pushback to any positivity they took from the 2-2 draw with FC Goa in the previous game. NorthEast United have now lost all seven games on the road, scoring four and conceding 18. Over the remaining six games of the league phase, the Highlanders will get the comfort of playing in Guwahati only twice which makes it even more difficult for them to produce any kind of momentum. Facing Kerala Blasters at Kochi will be a tough job in itself. The home side is rocked by two huge losses so are desperate to secure victory in this clash which does not come as good news for the visitors. The main task for the Highlanders in the closing months of the league will be to avoid finishing bottom at all costs. But that too looks pretty slim with merely four points registered from 15 matches so far this season.
KBFC vs NEUFC Team News
NorthEast United are without striker Wilmar Jordan as he received his second booking in the last match for a violent conduct just before half-time. In his place, Parthib Gogoi will start up front. New signing Joseba Beitia can also make his debut. Hira Mondal was also taken off with an injury in the heavy loss against Mumbai City FC and is a doubt to start this one.
Right-back Sandeep Singh has been ruled out for the season with a fractured bone for Kerala Blasters with doubts circling over their center-back Marko Leskovic availability also. The Croatian missed the last two matches for the Tuskers with a calf problem.
KBFC vs NEUFC Predicted Lineups
KBFC: Prabhsukhan Gill; Harmanjot Khabra, Ruivah Hormipam, Victor Mongil, Jessel Carneiro; Saurav Mandal, Jeakson Singh, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Sahal Samad; Adrian Luna, Dimitros Diamantakos
NEUFC: Mirshad Michu; Mohammed Irshad, Gaurav Bora, Aaron Evans, Hira Mondal; Pragyan Gogoi, Joseba Beitia Emil Benny; Kule Mbombo, Parthib Gogoi, Romain Philippoteaux
KBFC vs NEUFC Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Prabhsukhan (7.5)
DEF: Irshad (7.5), Hormipam (7.5), H Mondal (6.5)
MID: Benny (7), Beitia (7), Kaliuzhnyi (9), Sahal (8.5)
FW: Philippoteaux (9), Diamantakos (8.5), Luna (9)
Vice-captain: Ivan Kaliuzhnyi
Captain: Adrian Luna
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