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ISL 2021-22: Kerala Blasters, FC Goa look to start new year on a high (preview)

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Vasco (Goa), Jan 1 (IANS) Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa will look to start the new year on a high when they lock horns in match 46 of the ongoing 2021-22 Indian Super League ISL at Tilak Maidan Stadium, here on Sunday.

Kerala Blasters rank fifth in the league table with 13 points in eight matches. They are level on points with Jamshedpur FC and a point behind ATK Mohun Bagan in fourth and third position, respectively.

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On the other hand, FC Goa are in ninth position with eight points in eight matches. They are tied on points with tenth-placed NorthEast United FC and one point behind eighth-placed Bengaluru FC, both of whom have played a game more.

KBFC drew their last game 1-1 against Jamshedpur FC as they came back from behind to earn a point. While for FC Goa, they lost 2-1 to ATK Mohun Bagan in their last game.

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Kerala Blasters, who are on an unbeaten streak of seven games, have three wins and two draws in their last five matches, accumulating 11 points. On the other hand, FC Goa in their last five matches has gathered eight points as they have won two, drawn two, and lost one.

Ahead of the game, Kerala Blasters FC coach Ivan Vukomanovic informed the media that all the players are available for selection.

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However, all eyes will be on Sahal Abdul Samad, who has been crucial to Kerala Blasters FC’s emergence in the top four race. He has scored four goals so far and is among the leading Indian goalscorers. Defensively, the midfielder has made 28 tackles, 14 blocks, and six interceptions in the defensive play.

Adrian Luna, the midfielder has done well for the team and served at the centre of creativity for KBFC. The Uruguayan has one goal and three assists in the season so far.

Meanwhile, FC Goa will miss the services of Airam Cabrera, who continues to nurse a hamstring injury. But the Gaurs will be boosted by the return of Edu Bedia who has recovered and is available for the match.

The Spaniard Jorge Ortiz has scored two goals and made two assists in six appearances for Goa and his skills and link-up play are crucial to the club’s attacking movement. While midfielder Alberto Noguera, has two goals and an assist in eight matches and he has made 40 tackles, eight interceptions, and seven blocks.

FC Goa need to score one goal to become the first team to reach 250 ISL goals.



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