Monday, December 4, 2023

Kerala Blasters to lock horns with Bengaluru FC in opener


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KOCHI, Sep 20: Kerala Blasters FC will lock horns with 2018-19 edition winners Bengaluru FC in the season-opener of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.
For Kerala Blasters, Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das are among the players who were added to their roster ahead of the 10th edition of the ISL, while they lost the services of star midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad to Mohun Bagan Super Giant.
Bengaluru FC, who also featured in the final of the 2017-18 season, released Udanta Singh, Sandesh Jhingan and Roy Krishna in the summer.
The Blues’ head coach Simon Grayson will hope that new faces acclimatise seamlessly into the setup for them to have a strong start in the absence of skipper Sunil Chhetri, who is away on national duty for the Asian Games.
Bengaluru FC have been the dominant side among the two as they have eight wins from 14 matches against Kerala Blasters, who have won only three while on three occasions the two teams have played out draws.
In fact, in their last two meetings in the ISL, Bengaluru FC recorded identical 1-0 wins over Kerala Blasters.
“There’s competition for players. We have got six foreigners to choose from,” said Grayson ahead of the clash against Kerala Blasters.
“We can start or play four at any point in time. So whoever is in the team, whether it’s three foreign players and the rest are made of Indian players, I will pick a team that we think is competitive and try to get a result against a strong Kerala Blasters team,” he added.
Kotal said Kerala Blasters were ready to kick off the season.“I am very excited for tomorrow (Thursday) because this is the first time I am playing in the yellow jersey for these energetic fans. I am ready for that,” he said.“Our team is ready. I will try to give my best for my team and win this trophy.” (PTI)


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