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Kerala Blasters vs ATK: All you need to know about this ISL 2017/18 fixture

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ISL 2017/18: Kerala Blasters vs ATK Match Preview

The the latest edition of Indian Super League kicks off with the re-match of last year’s finale. Kerala Blasters will be at home welcoming the defending champions ATK in this season’s inaugural matchday.

Match Details

ISL 2017/18
Kerala Blasters FC vs ATK
Date: 17th November, 2017
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,Kochi
Telecast:Star Sports 2
Livestream: Hotstar,JIO TV

Team News

Kerala Blasters FC

After losing to ATK in the finals on penalties last year, the southerners have totally transformed their team. Rene Meulensteen has become the new manager of the Blasters, the 53-year old Dutch was assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United and will bring in valuable managerial experience with him.

Kerala has retained Indian stars like CK Vineeth,Sandesh Jhingan and Rino Anto. Overseas stars include former Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown. Kerala also signed Iain Hume to bolster their attack, the Canadian is ISL’s all time top scorer.

Kerala has also bagged players like Jakichand Singh, Milan Singh, Lalruatthara and Siam Henghal who have proved themselves in the domestic circuit.

ATK

The defending champions also have a new outlook to their team from last year. Jose Molina is replaced by Manchester United legendary striker Teddy Sheringham as manager, Former Bengaluru FC manager Ashley Westwood was signed to be his assistant manager. Debjit Majumdar and Prabir Das were the only players retained from last year’s squad, Players like Eugeneson Lyndoh, Robin Singh Jayesh Rane, Ashutosh Mehta, Augustin Fernandes, and Keegan Pereira are brought in from ISL Draft and proves the solidity and vareity of the squad.

Overseas acquisitions include Irish legend Robbie Keane and Premier League proven Jussi Jaaskelainen. Players like Carl Baker and Tom Thorpe proves their foreign firepower.

Robin Singh will provide physicality in attack, whereas Robbie Keane will bring experience and alongwith that Jayesh Rane’s pace will provide more of a variety up front for ATK.

Unfortunately Robbie Keane is out injured and will not feature for the defending champions for next 2 weeks.

Likely Starting XI

Kerala Blasters (4-3-2-1): Subhashish Roy Chowdhury;Rino Anto,Sandesh Jhingan,Nemanja Lakic-Pesic,Pritam Kumar Singh; Wes Brown,Milan Singh,Dimitar Berbatov;CK Vineeth,Courage Pekuson;Iain Hume

ATK (4-2-2-2): Debjit Majumdar; Ashutosh Mehta, Tom Thorpe, Augustine Fernandes, Prabir Das; Conor Thomas, Eugeneson Lyndoh; Zequinha, Jayesh Rane; Robin Singh, Njazi Kuqi

Head to head

Matches: 6
ATK win: 3
Kerala Blasters FC win: 1
Draw: 2
Goals scored by ATK: 9
Goals scored by Kerala Blasters FC: 7

Authors Take

Both Kerala Blasters and ATK are attack oriented sides, this is the opening match of this new ISL season, so judging them will be a bit difficult. A draw is on the cards as both teams have great forward line my prediction will be a 1-1 draw.