A beleaguered Kerala Blasters side host bottom of the table Odisha FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday. Kibu Vicuna’s men are in the midst of a terrible run of form that has seen them concede 10 goals in their last five games, losing in three of them. On the other hand, Odisha are the only remaining side to not have tasted victory this season and need things to change drastically. Considering the state of both teams, going defence-heavy can be a fruitful ploy for fantasy enthusiasts for this game.
The Tuskers have scored just eight goals in ISL 2020-21 so far. They also have just 20 shots on target in eight games, one of the lowest tallies in the league. With problems at both ends of the pitch, Vicuna has to get more out of his star players if they are to go up the points table from 9th. The Kalinga Warriors haven’t fared much better. Their 6 goals in eight games is the lowest goalscoring tally of all teams so far while they also have a dismal conversion rate of just 8.4%.
Blasters will have to wait before they welcome new signing Juande de Dios Lopez into the matchday squad. Kibu Vicuna has confirmed that the midfielder won’t be ready before the start of next week. Sahal Abdul Samad and Jordan Murray will therefore have to carry the attacking burden and should be good fantasy buys. Facundo Pereyra and Vicente Gomez also need to find their form quickly in order to set their house in order. Bakary Kone is expected to miss this one too with an injury while Gary Hooper should start from the bench.
For Stuart Baxter’s side, Diego Mauricio has been the only real attacking threat so far. Vinit Rai and Cole Alexander have been decent too but a lot more impetus has to come from their wing play. Manuel Onwu is also in need of goals having not opened his account yet. Baxter also needs to rethink his defensive setup with Jacob Tratt struggling at the back. Maybe the transfer window could bring about changes in that department.
Predicted Lineups and Fantasy XI
Albino Gomes, Jessel Carneiro, Sandeep Singh, Costa Nhamoinesu, Nishu Kumar, Vicente Gomez, Jeakson Singh, Facundo Pereyra, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jordan Murray, Rahul KP
Arshdeep Singh, Hendry Antonay, Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor, Shubham Sarangi, Cole Alexander, Gaurav Bora, Vinit Rai, Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Jerry Mawihmingthanga
Arshdeep Singh, Jessel Carneiro, Steven Taylor, Costa Nhamoinesu, Shubham Sarangi, Cole Alexander, Vicente Gomez, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Sahal Abdul Samad, Diego Mauricio, Jordan Murray
TV Channel and Livestream
The match will be telecast across Star Network’s sports and regional channels. The match can be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV. Kick-off is at 7:30 pm.