ISL 2020-21: Play-off spot in sight, Hyderabad FC aim to return to winning ways after series of draws
With three games to go, Hyderabad FC find themselves at the fifth, level on points with fourth-placed FC Goa and two points below NorthEast United.
Kerala have struggled against coach Sergio Lobera’s teams in the past. The former FC Goa coach enjoys his best success rate against Kerala, against whom he has won six matches and drawn one.
Kerala, unbeaten in their last five games, are still in contention for the playoffs and are just four points away from fourth place.
After 13 games, both the sides are level on points with ninth-placed Kerala Blasters just a spot below Jamshedpur FC.
Kerala Blasters are enjoying a much better phase in the ISL. With their victory against Bengaluru FC, Kibu Vicuna's team grabbed seven points from their last three games compared to six in their first nine matches.
An acrobatic first-half effort from Cleiton Silva (24th) handed Bengaluru the lead before substitute Lalthathanga Khawlhring netted an equaliser (73rd) for Kerala Blasters.
During a normal season, this fixture would have been one of the most heated clashes in the league due to the passionate rivalry between the two sets of fans.
Jamshedpur FC are placed fifth with 13 points from nine games and a victory against Kerala Blasters could push them to the third spot.
Odisha are yet to win a game and it could be Kerala's best chance to get three points for the second time this season.
ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City hope to maintain unbeaten run, eye top spot with win against Kerala Blasters
Mumbai City have been on a six-match unbeaten streak, with victories on five occasions, and are currently second on the points table
ISL 2020-21: Kibu Vicuna's tactical changes work as Kerala Blasters beat Hyderabad FC to register season's first win
Vicuna rang in five changes to the side that drew against SC East Bengal while Hyderabad made two changes with Liston Colaco returning to the starting eleven.
Both sides have played six matches so far with seventh-placed Hyderabad FC sitting just two places above Kerala Blasters on the table, but with a difference of six points.
The 19-year-old Jeakson Singh headed the ball out of Debjit Majumder's reach to score an equaliser with less a minute left before the final whistle.
While East Bengal are at the bottom of the 11-team standings with just one point, Kerala Blasters are no better as they occupy the ninth spot with two draws.
It has not been an ideal start for Bengaluru with three draws and just one win in four matches. But, head coach Carles Cuadrat is aiming to get his side back on track and is eyeing full points against Kerala Blasters at the Fatorda Stadium.
Both sides find themselves in the bottom half of the table with just two points each. And there is a lot to worry about for both the coaches as they head into this contest.
The CFC coach has said that his team would play high-intensity football this season and going by the way the two-time champions started, the 'Men in Blue' will look to carry on in the same vein.
ISL 2020-21: Kerala Blasters face 'tough challenge' against NorthEast United as Kibu Vicuna's men eye first win
Kerala Blasters currently occupy the tenth spot, while the NorthEast side, that shocked Mumbai City FC in their opener and impressed many by their defensive resilience, are placed fourth on the points table.
ISL 2020-21: ATK Mohun Bagan eke out narrow win with pragmatism as Vicuna's Kerala Blasters give a glimpse of what to expect
Antonio Habas relied on counterattacks instead of opting to dictate terms as ATK Mohun Bagan made a winning start to ISL 2020-21. Kerala Blasters, under Kibu Vicuna, meanwhile, showed some promise but they still have a lot of scope for improvement.
With Mohun Bagan joining ATK and entry of East Bengal, ISL 2020-21 will be the first season with the biggies from Kolkata. 11 teams will vie for the title when the season begins on 20 November.