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Match 91 Preview: SC East Bengal look to play spoilsport against Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters FC will be handed a grand opportunity to get back to winning ways and re-ignite their title aspirations as they face SC East Bengal in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, in Vasco, on Monday.

The Blasters suffered a 0-3 loss to Jamshedpur FC in the previous game, which also dented their title aspirations to certain extent. Meanwhile, SC East Bengal were beaten 1-2 by Odisha FC in their last game as their misery continued in the Hero ISL 2021-22.

Head-to-head

The two sides have not been able to break the deadlock in this fixture so far with three matches ending in a draw.

Form Guide

Kerala Blasters FC – WWLWL

After a 10-match unbeaten streak, the Blasters have lost track somehow. They have lost two and won the other three of their last five matches this season. A win in the upcoming game will help them surpass their previous best performance (six wins, 25 points) in the league stage of Hero ISL.

SC East Bengal – WLLDL

The nightmarish run in the Hero ISL 2021-22 for SC East Bengal still continues as they are still in search of their second win this season. In the last five matches, the Red and Gold brigade have won once, lost thrice and shared the spoils in the remaining tie.

Team News

Jackichand Singh has returned to training, however, his inclusion to the SC East Bengal playing XI still remains to be confirmed by the medical team. Meanwhile, Marko Leskovic and Harmanjot Khabra will miss out due to suspension.

Key Players

Alvaro Vazquez: He might not be among the top-10 strikers in the ongoing season, but is certainly the key player for Kerala Blasters FC to keep the scores ticking. In 14 matches played so far, the Spaniard has netted five times and assisted once. Most interestingly, the Blasters have never lost when Vazquez has scored a goal.

Sahal Abdul Samad: The Indian footballer’s resurgence in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season has been one of the main talking points so far, with him netting four times this season, out of which Blasters ended up on the winning side on three occasions. However, he has not scored or assisted in the last five matches. Given the quality he possesses, the footballer would be desperate to get his form back against one of weaker teams in the league and gain some momentum ahead of the final lap in the group stages.

SC East Bengal

Antonio Perosevic: Arguably their most influential player in their squad, Antonio Perosevic has shown sparks of brilliance at intervals, having scored thrice and assisted once, making him the player with most goal contributions. The Croatian has also taken 40 shots, the most by any player for the Kolkata-based side and the sixth overall in the league. Needless to say, Perosevic will be pivotal to SC East Bengal’s fortune in the upcoming game.

Sourav Das: Despite a forgettable campaign for red and gold brigade, the young midfielder has been one of the silver linings for the club. A work horse in the field, Sourav Das has been impressive in keeping fluidity in their game, having made 368 games in 14 matches, the most for any player in the squad. Apart from which, the footballer has made 19 interceptions and 48 tackles, third most for his side in both the departments.

Key Stats

Winless at Tilak Maidan

SC East Bengal are winless at the Tilak Maidan Stadium this season with 5 draws and 5 losses in 10 games. Kerala Blasters FC have 5 wins, 3 draws and one loss in 9 games at the venue this season.

A set-piece storyline

No team concedes a greater percentage of their goals from set pieces than Kerala Blasters (60%). Meanwhile, no team scores a greater percentage of their goals from set pieces than SC East Bengal (70.59%).

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