Kerala Are Looking To Keep Their Playoff Push Alive As They Face NorthEast

Match Preview Indian Super League

Saturday night sees Avram Grant’s struggling NorthEast United play hosts to playoff-chasing Kerala Blasters. Avram Grant’s side have been atrocious this season and need to start picking up points if they don’t want to finish at the bottom of the table. On the other hand, David James’ side have picked themselves up recently and need a win to stay on top of Jamshedpur who are currently 4th and yet to play in this game week. Let’s get right to the stats.    

The Stats…   

Northeast go into the game sitting in 9th place and on the same points as bottom side Delhi. They have the joint worst goalscoring record this season, only managing ten goals this season. Their defensive record isn’t too great either, after conceding twenty-two goals this season. They haven’t been In the greatest form heading into the game with them losing four and drawing one of their last five games. They will need to pick themselves up and put a good performance in if they want to beat Kerala.   

Kerala go into the game sitting in 5th, four points behind Steve Coppell’s Jamshedpur who sit 4th. They have a decent goalscoring record this season, scoring nineteen goals this season. Their defensive record isn’t much better than their opponents, after conceding twenty goals this season. They head into the game in mixed form, winning two, drawing one and losing two in their previous five. They will be looking to carry on their undefeated in three games streak as they look to really push for the last playoff place.    

Previous Encounters…   

The last time these two teams met was back in December 2017, with the game ending in a 1-0 win for Kerala. NorthEast were reduced to ten men when TP Rehenesh received a red card late on in the first half. This was after Kerala took the lead on twenty-four minutes through C.K. Vineeth.   

The game was a fairly open game and both teams had good chances to make the scoreline bigger. However, both of their early season lack of quality shone through and the scoreline stayed 1-0. Both teams will be wanting a more clinical showing this time around.    

The Game Itself…   

Kerala will be the team more up for the game as they have more to play for, so I expect them to dominate possession. NorthEast will be happy for them to dominate possession as they like to hit teams on the counter-attack and they will be hoping they can pull it off against Kerala.   

I don’t expect a high scoring game because of the fact Kerala aren’t known as a high scoring team, and it seems that if NorthEast score then it’s just luck rather than skill and meaning to.    

Key Player…    

Northeast may not be a side well known for their scoring or quality football but they do have a few danger players when they perform well. These are Seminlen Doungel, who can find the net when he wants to, and creative midfielder Marcinho, on his day he can cause a lot of trouble for defences and so Grant will be hoping he has one of those days.    

However, my interest is with Kerala Blasters and their quality players. One player that I have to mention just for his performance last week, was Dimitar Berbatov, his half-volley was a wonderful goal and he ran the midfield for the Blasters, and I’m sure James will want Dimitar to play like that for the remainder of the season.   

The player I have chosen for Key Player though is Gudjon Baldvinsson. Since he joined in January, he has been fantastic, both off the bench and starting the game. If Kerala can give him the service then he will score goals.    


With all this being said, I will simply leave you with this. I expect Kerala to come out on top against this poor Northeast side. The score will be 2-0 with Baldvinsson getting at least one goal. However, you never know, NorthEast may actually show up for once and perform well, but there’s more chance of me or Mark winning the prediction league, now that’s a sad thought…  

About the Author

Stephen Beavon
Just a young football fan who likes to get his opinion across to others. Love Birmingham City, although it is difficult at times.