FC Goa will be hosting Kerala Blasters FC in Match 18 of the Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Margao on Thursday evening.
With seven points from four matches, returning with a 3-1 win over NorthEast United FC in their first away game and now entering their fourth home fixture, another win can see the Gaurs climb to the top of the table.
FC Goa head coach Zico has however raised caution over the away form of the teams while getting over their 4-0 loss against Chennaiyin FC in Goa.
“We have to pay attention because our last result at home was not a good one. Differently from last year, the teams who are playing away are getting the results. So every time we are at home we have to be double careful,” observed the Brazilian.
Reinaldo da Cruz Oliveira, who found his scoring touch in the last match, has 13 of FC Goa’s 35 shots on target to his name and also accounts for 38% of the overall chances created by his team.
The home team’s marquee player Lúcio, midfielder Jofre Mateu Gonzalez and striker CS Sabeeth are ruled out for the tie. It is also confirmed that Victor Simões will miss the rest of the season while a replacement is yet to be signed.
Kerala Blasters, having faced two defeats and with four points from as many outings, meanwhile also want to break into the top half of the standings.
“Our aim is to get into the top four. We haven’t been consistent in the last two performances, but the games come around so quickly,” professed Trevor Morgan, the assistant coach of the Blasters.
He added, “What’s gone is gone. We have to look forward and tomorrow’s (Thursday) game is the ideal opportunity for us to get back to the winning track.”
The visitors have no new injury concerns after Peter Carvalho was ruled out after their first match while Gurwinder Singh is hopeful to recover in time.
The last time the two teams met each other at Fatorda, FC Goa ran out 3-0 victors but the Kerala franchise eventually finished one up as the finalists last year.