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ISL 2022-23: Kerala Blasters aim 5th straight conquest; face Bengaluru FC in intense clash

ISL 2022-23 continues in full flow, while Kerala Blasters will be up against Bengaluru FC on Sunday. The former would aim to win its fifth consecutive match, while the game would be intense.

football Indian Super League 2022-23, KBFC vs BFC preview: Kerala Blasters aim 5th straight conquest; face Bengaluru FC in intense clash-ayh
First Published Dec 11, 2022, 9:00 AM IST

Rivals Kerala Blasters (KBFC) and former champion Bengaluru FC (BFC) are set to clash for the first time this season in the 2022-23 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday. It will be a meeting of differing teams, as the Blasters have won four of their last five ISL contests, while the Blues have failed in five of their previous six. KBFC’s contemporary run has seen it gain four victories on the bounce for the first time in ISL history. The Blasters have kept clean sheets in three out of the previous four games, scoring eight and conceding just one in the process.

Last week, a lone Dimitrios Diamantakos goal in the 17th minute was enough for KBFC to snatch all available points in Jamshedpur. The Greek striker evolved as the joint-top-scorer for the club this season with Kaliuzhnyi. Both players have now netted four goals each in eight contests.


“We know this is a crucial game for people in Kerala. We as a team like to play this kind of game. When you have the mind of a football player, you want to compete and prefer to play games like this every weekend. We are looking forward to an interesting game tomorrow. May the better team win,” said Vukomanovic ahead of the match.

BFC concluded its winless streak two weeks ago but fell to another upset last week versus ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB). After eight matches, BFC has scored just four, which is the joint-fewest this season with NorthEast United (NEUFC). The Blues hope to turn things around with the new signing of Pablo Perez. The Spanish attacking midfielder has been brought into the club to boost the midfield and attacking strength.

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Head coach Simon Grayson has room for an overseas player in his lineup, with the option of benching a midfielder to deploy the Spanish duo of Javi Hernandez and Perez in the centre of the park. After grabbing a brace against FC Goa (FCG) two weeks ago, Hernandez is the club’s top scorer this season.

Grayson supplied an update on the new signing. “He has done much physical work in conditioning but not much football work in the past two to three months. I have got to decide if he will feature this weekend because he has only been with us for three sessions. The last thing I want to do is rush him,” said Grayson.

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The Englishman said about the rivalry between the two clubs, “When I first arrived in India, this was a talked-about fixture. The rivalry between the two clubs and the number of supporters on each side has added spice to the game.” The history books favour the visitors, as the Blues have won six of the ten ISL clashes between these two sides. The Blasters have only won twice, while two contests have been drawn.

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