Indian Super League – Kerala Blasters vs ATK Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Kerala Blasters vs ATK taking place? Sunday 20th October, 2019 – 15:00 (UK)

Where is Kerala Blasters vs ATK taking place? Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi

What television channel is Kerala Blasters vs ATK on? This match will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream Kerala Blasters vs ATK? This match cannot be streamed live in the UK

Where can I get tickets for Kerala Blasters vs ATK? Tickets may be available on this link

THE TEAM NEWS

KERALA BLASTERS

  • Two-time Indian Super League runners-up Kerala Blasters will be hoping for a vast improvement this season with new Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie taking charge after the club finished 9th last season – their worst finish since the league began in 2014.
  • Schattorie comes to the club having impressed whilst in charge of NorthEast United last season as he guided them into the play-offs for the first time in their history with just three defeats from their 18 regular season matches.
  • As expected with a new coach coming in, there have been a number of changes in playing personnel so they may take a while to gel, especially as their planned pre-season in the UAE did not go according to plan. A negative is that the new coach will have to do without key defender Sandesh Jhingan, who been ruled out with a long-term knee injury. Spanish duo Mario Arques and Sergio Cidoncha picked up knocks during pre-season which have limited their preparations.

ATK

  • Two-time ISL winners ATK were the inaugural champions in 2014 and have opted to re-appoint the man who guided them to that title with Spaniard Antonio Lopez Habas coming in as their new head coach for the upcoming season, replacing Englishman Steve Coppell.
  • There has been plenty of activity in the transfer market ahead of the new season but two new ATK signings Anas Edathodika and Jobby Justin will both be unavailable to make their debut for the club due to suspension. Justin was suspended for six games towards the end of last season and still has another three games to serve, whilst Edathodika is serving a one game ban.
  • Arguably ATK’s most eye-catching signing of the off-season has been Fijian striker Roy Krishna who was the player of the year as well as the top scorer in the Australian A-League last season. He will link-up with Australian forward David Williams who was with Krishna at Wellington Phoenix last season.

THE PREDICTION

The sixth season of the Indian Super League begins with a repeat of the 2014 and 2016 ISL finals with Kerala Blasters hosing ATK who defeated them in both of the aforementioned finals. With both teams having missed out on the play-offs in each of the last two seasons, they are aiming for big improvements under new coaches – although of course ATK have turned to the man who delivered them the inaugural championship. With a raft of new signings for both teams, things are still a work in progress. In the end, the crucial edge may come with the absence of key defender Sandesh Jhingan for Kerala Blasters. ATK have a good attacking threat to capitalise and they are tipped to claim an opening game victory.

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