PANAJI: The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 action returns to the hotbed of footballing fandom as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi will witness the clash between the Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC to round off the Saturday double header on November 25. An old rivalry will reignite, going back to the 2021-22 season, where Hyderabad FC edged past Ivan Vukomanovic’s team in the penalty shootouts of the season final to clinch the trophy that season.
With a contrasting run of form behind their back, both these clubs will have a common objective from this match, i.e. to get maximum points at all costs. Sitting second in the table, Kerala Blasters FC are naturally better placed to attain a victory, but Hyderabad FC and their supporters will hope that head coach Thangboi Singto would have worked his magic around the setup to turnaround their fortunes for the season.
What’s at stake?
Kerala Blasters FC
The Tuskers have shown timely tactical awareness on both ends of the pitch to secure important victories in ISL 2023-24.
There is added responsibility on them whilst playing at home and Vukomanovic echoed those thoughts in a recent interaction with the league, saying, “We always have an obligation to show a little bit more than our opponents, whether we are playing home or away. Especially when we play at home, we have to show something else, that we are fighting for the logo, and we are fighting for the club, because that’s a part of the identity of Kerala.”
A win in this match can temporarily take them to the top of the table, and that will be a big boost as the team goes about chasing their goals for the campaign.
Hyderabad FC are winless in their last five away games and they are still seeking their first victory of this campaign. They have played out 1-1 draws in each of their last three games, and it is just that additional bit of efficiency and goal-scoring instinct upfront that can help them better these results. Singto must have had ample time to correct their mistakes during the halt as fans wait to see a renewed and rejuvenated Hyderabad FC unit after the international break.