Numbers Speak: FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters, Statistical Preview

Igor Angulo During the Training Session 4

Mumbai: Sunday night at Fatorda will see FC Goa go up against Kerala Blasters in a fixture which will see both sides looking to get their first win of the campaign. Tied on points at the bottom half of the table, three points in the game will not act as a shot in the arm for the winning team but also see them head into the top 4. 

Juan Ferrando’s men have impressed all and sundry with their ability to keep possession of the ball and rule over the midfield. The start of the season, however, has seen the Gaurs not at their precise best in the final third. 

“Am I happy about the situation at the moment? No, 2 points from 3 games are not something to be happy about. Is there pressure? There is pressure every day in the life, whether it be in a game or a training session.” remarked FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando ahead of the game when asked if there was any pressure on him to deliver in terms of points this early in the season. 

“There are many positives to take from the games we have played. I would have been more worried if we were being overwhelmed in games or if the defense was a disaster or if we were not able to create opportunities at all. That would have been a bigger concern. 

“Right now we all know how we want to play. We are all putting our honest efforts and looking at the details. There are many things we are doing well and we have to see make some finer adjustments and the results, I feel are sure to come.” 

The challenge ahead

Like the Gaurs, the Blaster has a new squad under a new boss as well. Kibu Vicuna took over the reins at Kerala earlier this year after leading Mohun Bagan to triumph in the I-League last season. The Spaniard, though, is yet to taste success as head coach of the Blasters. 

The two-time finalists lost their season-opener 1-0 to ATK Mohun Bagan before letting a 2-goal cushion slip away against NorthEast in the dying moments to record a draw. Their last game against Chennaiyin produced many thrilling moments. Both teams, though, were unable to find the back of the net. 

The Blasters are likely to miss their skipper Sergio Cidoncha on Sunday. The Spaniard was reportedly ruled out for a lengthy spell after sustaining an injury to his ankle in his last game against Chennaiyin. 

Kibu Vicuna’s men have looked solid at the back and industrious in the middle. They are yet to see the best from their striker Gary Hooper and their faithful will be hoping that both his as well as the team’s best days lie in front of them this season. 

Speaking on the Blasters and the game on Sunday, Juan Ferrando held the Blasters in high regard. 

“Our game against Kerala on Sunday is going to be a good game, I feel,” stated Ferrando. “It’s a game between two teams who like to attack and play a passing style. Very similar to us, they have a lot of positives to take from their games. I felt they were the superior team in their game against NorthEast and could have easily won as well against Chennaiyin. They are an excellent team, and I feel they are one that will certainly rise up the table in the days to come.” 

10 things to know: 

Heading into the game on Sunday between two hungry packs in FC Goa and Kerala Blasters, here are 10 things, you should know: 

1. Everything points to goals on Sunday at the Fatorda when Goa takes on Kerala. There have simply been no goalless draws between these two teams out of the 12 times that they have faced off against each other in the ISL. The last 10 games have in fact seen the two teams score 3 or more goals on each occasion.

2. The Gaurs are yet to take the lead in any of the games so far. The Men In Orange, have in fact been the first to concede in 4 of their last 5 ISL games and haven’t kept a clean sheet in those 5 games as well. 

3. FC Goa were the only side last season to have not conceded a penalty. The Gaurs’ fortune has turned quite drastically this season, conceding 2 penalties in the first 3 games of the season. 

4. FC Goa have been synonymous with goals in the ISL. The Gaurs have found the back of the net 3 or more times in 8 of their last 10 games. They are yet to hit 3 this time around. 

5. The Gaurs have been the dominant force in the history of this fixture. The last three seasons have been seen the Gaurs go unbeaten in games against the Blasters. This includes 5 wins and a draw. Blaster’s last win against Goa came on November 8, 2016, when goals from CK Vineeth and Kervens Belfort helped Kerala to a 2-1 win. 

6. FC Goa have had the upper hand on most occasions that these two teams have come across. The Gaurs have been the dominant team in this tie by a long way, winning 8 of the 12 matches that the two ISL sides have played against each other.

7. Great goal scoring or some poor defending? FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters in the ISL has seen both teams scoring in nine of the last nine games played against each other. The only exception in this regard was the 3-0 win for the Men in Orange in February last year. 

8. The Blasters haven’t kept a clean sheet against the Gaurs in any of their last 11 meetings. Their only clean sheet in the fixture came in their very first meeting on November 6, 2014. In goal, that day for the Blasters was David James.

9. Igor Angulo currently leads the standings for the ISL Golden Boot. The Spaniard has scored 3 in as many games – the same as Adam Le Fondre, Roy Krishna and Nerijus Valskis. The Spaniard, however, leads the standing owing to a better goal per minutes record, scoring a goal every 81 minutes.

10.Edu Bedia continues to lead the league in terms of passes. The Spaniard has been the lynchpin of the Gaurs this season ever since taking over the captaincy. The midfielder has sprayed around 239 passes so far in only 3 games –  an average of nearly 80 passes a game.

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