ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru Match Preview

Kerala Blasters FC

Last time out…

As the game entered the 90th minute against Chennaiyin for Kerala Blasters, they looked like they were going to be coming away pointless as an 89th Rene Mihelic penalty put Chennaiyin 1-0 up. But then, five minutes later, in the dying embers of the game, CK Vineeth made it two goals in two games to send the travelling support into raptures. It was very much against the run of play as Vineeth’s goal was only their second shot on target but Meulensteen will have no doubt be delighted to get a point which made it two games without defeat.

Bengaluru did everything but score against Jamshedpur as they had ten shots on target, 62% of the ball and made 270 more passes than their opposition yet still ended up on the wrong end of the one-nil scoreline. It was a 90th-minute penalty which gave Steve Coppell’s side the win which made it two losses in a row for Bengaluru and saw them drop to 4th in the ISL table.

Press conferences…

CK Vineeth spoke about facing his former employers on New Years Eve;

“I respect that club in a big way and I’ll get respect from them too”

He was quick to say that he won’t be treating it any differently, though;

“It’s just like another game, nothing else. We want to win”

He finished by saying that Kerala will be doing whatever it takes;

“We need to win it, at any cost”

Our ‘one to watch’ Udanta Singh’ said they are in the right frame of my mind before the Kerala game;

“After our two home losses, we are looking forward to the game, it’ll be tough.”

He will be hoping to use some of his knowledge to help Bengaluru;

“I know all of them (Kerala players), so it’s going to be a tough game in my opinion.”

He finished by letting the Bengaluru fans that he is ready;

“I am looking forward to the game.”

The game itself…

It has to be said, that ISL games are generally hard to call on the best of days, but this one is even more difficult. Kerala go into the game unbeaten in two and Bengaluru have lost the last two, so you would think the home side would be favourites, but Bengaluru have been the better of the two sides throughout the course of the season. Kerala are unbeaten at home this season so far, but three out of their four games have resulted in draws and maybe that’s the way this will be going.

Bengaluru will be glad to be playing away from home again as their away matches have given them six points from a possible nine so far this campaign. They’ve had more of the ball in the two home games that they’ve lost but have come up against some mean defences and Kerala are looking more astute at the back now that Wes Brown has found himself in the starting eleven.

Ones to watch…

Wes BrownI mentioned him earlier and the reason why I’m picking him as the one to watch is because if you watch what he does, he’s not going to be doing Maradona turns past people, but he’s going to be breaking up Bengaluru’s attack and distributing the ball to the more creative players in the side. It certainly isn’t a coincidence that the two games Brown has played in, they haven’t lost and he’ll be looking to continue that run.

Udanta Singh – It’s difficult to pick anyone out of Bengaluru’s front line, especially when they have been as good as they have going forward, but I’m opting for Udanta as I think he’s the unsung one of the front three of him, Miku and Chhetri. Miku spearheads the attack, Chhetri is India’s sweetheart and that leaves Udanta who is the whippet on the right. His direct approach tends to leave many a left back on their arse and he has the end product to match. Kerala will have to keep him quiet.

One more thing…

All things considered, if I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’ve got absolutely no idea which way this one will go, so we’ll go for the draw @ 11/5.

About the Author

Jake Flock
Football and writing are my two biggest passions, so seems right to combine the pair, don't you think?