ISL 2018-19: Kerala Blasters vs ATK- Match preview and prediction
The Indian Super League is back and the second half of the league kicks off tomorrow with a match between Kerala Blasters and ATK. Kerala are currently eighth on the league table with nine points, while ATK are sixth with 16. Both of these teams, which were quite powerful in earlier editions of the league, have not been impressive this term. Match preview follows.
How are the Kerala Blasters looking ahead of the encounter?
After sacking David James, Kerala Blasters have brought in former NorthEast United coach Nelo Vingada to replace him. Numerous Kerala players have left the squad mid season, with CK Vineeth, Halicharan Narzary moving to Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa buying their goal-keeper Naveen Kumar. However, Sandesh Jhingan remains with the squad, and they have bought new players like Nongdamba Naorem and Baoringdao Bodo.
How are ATK preparing for the match?
ATK have managed to buy Indian team regular Pritam Kotal from Delhi Dynamos to bolster their defense. They have also brought in Edu Garcia, the Bengaluru FC winger who can help improve their attacking chances. It is believed that Kalu Uche will also be back after being out with an injury. ATK will want to win this encounter after losing to Bengaluru last time.
Who will be the key players in the encounter?
After the departure of Vineeth, Blasters will face some problems in their attack. However, they have Sandesh Jhingan in defense, to see that they don't concede easily. In the ATK ranks, the addition of Edu Garcia can be a huge boost for the Kolkata outfit as they have been facing problems in the goal-scoring department throughout the season so far.
Predicted line-up and TV listing
Kerala Blasters: Singh, Jhingan, Edathodika, Lakic Pesic, Lalruatthara, Pekuson, Abdul Samad, Krcmarevic, Doungel, Poplatnik, Stojanovic. ATK: Bhattacharya, Kotal, Bikey, Johnson, Lallawmawma, Rane, Halder, Garcia, Lanzarote, Thatal, Uche. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 7:30 PM and will be broadcast on the Star Sports network and live-streamed on Hotstar.
How can the match turn out to be?
On paper, ATK look a stronger team than Kerala, but these two teams have not been impressive this term. However, with the addition of Garcia, ATK can surely prove to be a strong team to match up to. The match can turn out 2-1 in ATK's favor unless Kerala manage to stop the Kolkata outfit with their football.