The most important match of the season is here. Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters FC will take the field on Sunday to battle out for the Indian Super League crown. A new champion is guaranteed this season as both the finalist has never won the title before. KBFC has been to the final twice but lost on both occasions however, this will be the maiden final for the Nizams. The ISL final is set to be played in Fatorda and fans are set to be allowed to attend this game after about 2 whole years.
Kerala Blasters faced Jamshedpur FC and won the fixture quite convincingly with an aggregate score of 2-0, Whereas, Hyderabad FC managed to defeat ATK Mohun Bagan in the semis with an aggregate score of 3-2 with a mixture of luck and Kattimani master class in the second leg. Both the teams will give it their all to lift their first-ever ISL title, it is now to be seen who gets the last laugh. Here are the Top 5 things to expect from the match.
KBFC will be hoping for Luna magic
Adrian Luna has been a standout player throughout the whole season and has undoubtedly been the best player in the KBFC squad this season. He has scored 6 goals so far and has assisted 7 times. Luna plays the role of building the game and creating chances for Vazquez and Diaz to finish. The Uruguayan attacking midfielder played a huge role in bringing KBFC to where they stand now and fans will again be hoping for the same Luna magic in the final to seal the deal for the blasters. Hyderabad FC is well aware of the threat Luna is and might deploy a player specifically to man-mark him the whole game to prevent much damage.
Ogbeche in the finest form
Ogbeche can be the most fatal threat for Kerala Blasters FC in the final. The Nigerian striker has scored 18 goals in 19 games and by far is the favorite to win the golden boot. He has proved that age is just a number and is now set to feature in consecutive Indian Super League finals. He is a fox in the box and will surely convert any chances he gets. The Nizams are heavily dependent on Ogbeche when it comes to scoring goals. He will undoubtedly once again be the target man inside the box. KBFC defense needs to stay focused throughout the game because the forward can score from a chance out of nothing.
The battle of Keepers
The Indian Super League final will feature two very talented and in-form goalkeepers. This season has been a nightmare for keepers as howlers started pouring in since the first day. Goalkeepers were mostly among the culprits while conceding. Many big names failed to impress but Kattimani and Prabhsukhan Gill emerged as saviors for their respected teams. Kattimani singlehandedly took Hyderabad FC to the finals from the semis after a strong and dominating ATKMB display. The HFC first choice keeper also tops the list of saves with 58 to his name. On the other hand, youngster Gill has impressed the whole of India with his quick and incredible goalkeeping abilities. He has got 7 clean sheets to his name and currently leading the race for the Golden glove award.
Battle of Midfield
Both the teams will try their best to win the midfield to dominate the whole pitch. Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters both initiate most of their attack through the wings after winning the ball in central midfield. So to stop the wing play the control of midfield will be very necessary. Joao Victor and Souvik Chakrabarti will be on their toes to prevent Puitea and Adrian Luna from taking control. The midfield duel will be very significant and most likely the midfield controller will go on to initiate most of the attacking moves of the game.
Trust on Indian players
Both the finalists are massively dependent on their Indian contingent rather than the foreigners. Manolo Marquez and Ivan Vukomanovic have shown heavy trust in their Indian players and have developed them throughout the season. KBFC developed players like Ayush Adhikari, Puitea, Hormipam, and Gill this season. On the other hand, Hyderabad FC did the same with Aniket Jadhav, Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, and Yasir. Besides the youngsters, senior players like Sahal, Kattimani, Chinglensana, and Khabra are also set to feature in the final. It will be a big stage and a lot to prove for the homegrown stars for the future of Indian football.