FC Goa vs. Kerala Blasters FC Preview

Least Prolific Teams in the League Face Off

Kerala Blasters FC will travel to the land of sun and sand to take on FC Goa in Fatorda’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Both of these teams haven’t been having a good time in the third instalment of the Indian Super League.

For instance, neither of them has been prolific in terms of scoring. Furthermore, neither of them has had a standout performer in the five games they’ve played till now. Even more crucially, neither of these teams has found the winning formula in terms of formation and personnel till now, even though both are on the verge of it.

FC Goa’s Form & Strategy

gregory-arnolin-fc-goaZico, FC Goa’s manager, has tinkered with his team’s formation and starting line-up from the beginning of the season. It is only in the last couple of games that he settled on a stable formation and set of players. As is obvious to football fans, this has resulted in an upturn in FC Goa results. In case you’re wondering, The Gaurs lost their first three games fairly convincingly, drew their fourth game, and won their last one.

With the first win of the season under their collective belts, The Gaurs will hope to continue their positive momentum into this game. Their problem, however, is that they concede too much. FC Goa has conceded the most goals in the league so far which is the main reason why they are propping up the table for everyone.

The good news is that this match may see Lucio and Arnolin line-up together in the centre of defence for the first time in the league. Having their first choice central defensive pairing available could be key to fixing Goa’s leaky defence. Another key element to note here is the change in goalkeepers. Zico started the first three games with Kattimani but since he has started going with Chowdhury, his team’s fortunes have turned.

Kerala Blasters FC’s Form & Strategy

Aaron Hughes, Kerala Blasters FC

What will be in favour of FC Goa’s defence is that Kerala Blasters FC isn’t really that proficient in front of goal. They’ve scored the least number of goals in the league. This is something that hasn’t been helped by the constant tinkering by Steve Coppell. Like Zico, Coppell has also been trying to find the right combination of players and shape but his experiments have largely been focused on the attacking side of things.

Coppell has kept his defence very solid but his attack has shifted and changed drastically game to game. In his defence, Coppell has chosen to stick with the Northern Ireland international, Aaron Hughes, and the highly reliable and dependable French, Cedric Hengbart.

The constant flux in Kerala Blasters FC’s attacking line-up could be the reason why they’ve struggled to score goals. They are, in fact, the lowest scoring team in the league and have the dismal return of two goals from five matches so far.

What Will Be The Coin Toss Results?

The safest bet in this game will be for a goalless draw since both teams are pretty bad at scoring. While Kerala has only two goals in five games, Goa is only marginally better with three goals in five games. On top of their scoring records, their projected style of play also favours a goalless draw.

Consider the fact that Kerala is generally stringent when it comes to conceding. Further, consider that Zico will want to tighten things up at the back since they’ve been conceding heavily till now. Between the established record and predictable intentions, the two teams can be expected to be very cautious in this game. Thus, our prediction is a nil – nil draw.

Chennaiyin FC vs. FC Goa Review

Chennaiyin FC Beat FC Goa with a Gloriously Professional Performance

This was a game billed to be one of the best of the season simply because it was between the last year’s finalists. Moreover, the game was expected to be good because both Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa have been sucking lately. It’s not just basic sucking but instead heavy duty sucking. Before the game began, between the two teams there was only one point. That means that they had played two games each and Chennaiyin FC had one point while FC Goa had none.

The game was a tame affair that was managed handsomely well by Chennaiyin FC. Chennaiyin FC took the lead early in the first half and then doubled their lead mid-way through the half. As well as Chennaiyin FC played, FC Goa was also toothless and impotent.

Team News for Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa

sahil-tavora-fc-goaThe surprise in team news came from Chennaiyin FC who made no less than five different changes in this game. Most of the changes made by Marco Materazzi were aimed at fixing his team’s suffering defence. He replaced the last game’s goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr with the Indian Karanjit Singh and then topped that by bringing in Eli Sabia and Jerry Lalrinzuala for Bernard Mendy and Nallappan Mohanraj respectively.

The Chennaiyin FC midfield was also shuffled around as MacPherlin Dudu Omagbemi was replaced by Manuele Blasi and Jeje Lalpekhlua was switched out for the incoming Davide Succi. That’s a massive number of changes for a football, regardless of whether you consider Real Madrid or Chennaiyin FC. I felt those changes would have a major say in the game, whether on the positive side or negative side.

FC Goa, in contrast to the reigning champions, made only two changes. They brought in Sahil Tavora and Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira for Richarlyson Felisbino and Mandar Rao Dessai, respectively. The key for FC Goa, as is obvious, is to keep Laxmikanth Kattimani or Lucio from making mistakes. Both have contributed to their team’s defeats in the past.

Chennaiyin FC Start Well and Reap Dividends

The first half of the game began with a penalty claim for FC Goa. The penalty claim came when a Gaur player took a tumble in the Chennaiyin FC box on a fair tackle. However, there wasn’t enough contact and the penalty was rightly denied.

The initial period of the first half was full of turnovers from both teams. It was almost as if both teams were on a date with each other and didn’t know what to say on account of being only 16-year old. No, I haven’t faced such a situation. In case you’re interested, my problem has always been talking too much when faced with nervousness.

Chennaiyin FC showed more creativity and looked the more likely to score. This is why it wasn’t a surprise when they did with a sweet, sweet shot from Hans Mulder. He took on a short but smart pass outside the FC Goa box and struck an orgasmic shot straight into the far corner. It wasn’t a powerful shot. It wasn’t a wallop. Instead, it was almost a caress of a shot. Chennaiyin FC 1 – 0 FC Goa

Chennaiyin FC Pile On the Misery

mehrajuddin-wadoo-chennaiyin-fcConceding the opening goal almost took the stuffing out of FC Goa and their game became as limp as a…erm… 16-year-old watching an old Bollywood film from the 1970s with his parents.

The worst bit was just when they tried to show some confidence and determination, an old, sad, and dull Bollywood song showed up to really knock them off their feet. You see, Chennaiyin FC doubled their lead with what was an incredibly fortuitous goal from Mehrajuddin Wadoo.

It was a hopeful cross cum shot from the edge of the box that was headed into the ground by Rafael Dumas. Unfortunately, the headed deflected popped up off the ground and into the net with speed leaving Kattimani no chance whatsoever. Chennaiyin FC 2 – 0 FC Goa.

For the rest of the first half, FC Goa tried to halve the deficit half-heartedly. They needed more passion, verve, and drive to do so but there was none to be found.

FC Goa Get Managed by Chennaiyin FC

hans-mulder-chennaiyin-fcThe second half didn’t start well for FC Goa as they had to replace Lucio with Felisbino. The removal of Lucio meant that Balmuchu was moved into defence while Felisbino slotted into the Gaur midfield.

With respect to the gameplay, Chennaiyin FC managed the entire second half very well. They not only kept FC Goa at an arm’s length throughout the second half (there was no real chance for the Gaurs) but also countered at just the right moment. Even though Chennaiyin FC didn’t score the third goal, they looked the more likely of the two teams to score.

Chennaiyin FC’s cause was helped by Zico’s decision to not bring Romeo Fernandes on up until the 76th minute. It made no sense whatsoever to keep their most offensively proficient player on the bench so long, especially since FC Goa needed to score. In a nutshell, there’s no doubt about the fact that FC Goa deserved to lose.