Kerala Blasters would look to bounce back from their last match defeat and earn all the three points against lowly East Bengal in their Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 game on Monday. (More Football News)
For East Bengal, it will be about salvaging some pride after being mathematically ruled out of the playoffs race following a loss to Odisha FC in their previous engagement.
While East Bengal will look to play party poopers, for Kerala, this game should be the one to pick up three points as they take on ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC, two teams above them in the league table, in the next two games after Monday.
For head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, his team's set-piece woes would be a cause for concern given East Bengal do score a lot from them. Kerala Blasters may be without Ruivah Hormipam, Harmanjot Khabra and Marko Leskovic for the next game, all of whom are either injured, suspended or not fully fit.
“We have enough players in our squad. That's why we have a large squad. Some other players will take the positions. I am not worried. I am confident that these boys can do the job. We will see tomorrow. I am glad these boys will get some game time,” said Vukomanovic.
“We are confident for tomorrow's game. Every game is important now. We have to fully concentrated and ready to fight for all duels,” he added. Sitting 10th in the points table with just 10 points to show for from 16 games, East Bengal will have nothing to lose.
They have just managed to win one game so far and head coach Mario Rivera will be eager to change that statistic. “I'm sure the top teams will not be happy to play East Bengal now because they know we'll be a very difficult team to beat. We are focused on winning the next match,” he said.
“KBFC has a very balanced side. Their attack and defence are well balanced. Of course, they'll miss some players in tomorrow's game but their squad depth is fantastic and they're performing well in ISL.” The last time the two sides met, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.