ISL: Blasters up against Bengaluru

Time to get going
Kerala Blasters would be hoping for an improved performance from striker Facundo Abel Pereyra. Photo: ISL

Margao: Former champions Bengaluru FC would look to shrug off an unexpected struggling start to the Indian Super League (ISL) and notch up a win against Kerala Blasters here on Sunday.

It has not been an ideal start for Bengaluru with three draws and just one win in four matches. But, head coach Carles Cuadrat is aiming to get his side back on track and is eyeing full points against Blasters at the Fatorda Stadium.

Bengaluru have a great record against Blasters. In six games, they have prevailed on four occasions and lost just once. But that is the past and Cuadrat's side aren't in the best of form. Their last game against NorthEast United ended in a 2-2 draw.

Bengaluru started the campaign with a 3-4-3 formation, which wasn't conducive to their style, forcing Cuadrat to deploy a four-man defence. The change in plan has helped Bengaluru bring out best from Dimas Delgado and Udanta Singh, making them look more threatening.

"It was not working well for us at the moment but it can work well in the future. We have a plan B and C. We came back to a 4-3-3 and it helped us to get more offensive," explained Cuadrat.

The Bengaluru coach sounded confident of his side getting back on track and said, "We have to be mentally and physically strong. Some teams had a longer pre-season but are not able to take three points."

The former champions have netted 80 per cent of their goals (4) from set-pieces this season and this could pose a threat to Blasters whose defence has been vulnerable.

They are yet to keep a clean sheet against BFC.

This season, Blasters have conceded six goals (second-most), despite facing just 13 shots on target. Coach Kibu Vicuna addressed that concern.

"We are working and hoping that in the next game, everything is going to be better. We didn't think we will get two points in four games but sometimes it happens," he said.

"We are trying to improve. We have to improve in the last third. We have to be brave and work better and hard. We have confidence, we know we have a good team and players," he said.

Blasters will miss the injured Sergio Cidoncha, who has left for Spain for his recovery programme. Defender Costa Nhamoinesu too is out after picking up a red card against FC Goa. 

Added responsibility
Kerala Blasters defender Bakary Kone will want to put in a good show in absence of Costa Nhamoinesu. Photo: ISL
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