ISL 2020-21 CLUB PREVIEW: Are Kerala Blasters ready to blast their way into title contention?

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One of the more exuberant and loyal fanbases across the entirety of the nation, Kerala Blasters have been blessed to have that kind of support. But as the pandemic plagues the protocol against any kind of fans entering the stadium, the Blasters will have to carry their campaign on to provide enough cheers for them.

Kerala Blasters FC: Latest News on Kerala Blasters | Photos and videos of Kerala  Blasters FC Team

However the question remains, can they put up a good enough fight to challenge the ISL royalty? We take a brief look at how they stack up ahead of the season –

TRANSFERS

One of the more prolific signings happened at left-back for Kerala, with a record fee for Bengaluru defender Nishu Kumar. The Blasters have also supplemented it with ex-Sparta Praha centre-back Costa Nhamoinesu and Sandeep Singh from I-League club TRAU. Bakary Kone also recently signed up for the 2020-21 season.

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Among the departures, none were more significant than Ogbeche and Sandesh Jhinghan who have moved to Mumbai and ATK Mohun Bagan respectively. But regardless, Kerala have enjoyed a decent transfer window ahead of the start of the league.

SQUAD LIST

GOALKEEPERS

  • Bilal Hussain Khan
  • Albino Gomes
  • Prabsukhan Singh Gill
  • Muheet Khan

DEFENDERS

  • Abdul Hakku
  • Bakary Kone
  • Costa Nhamoinesu
  • Nishu Kumar
  • Jessel Carneiro
  • Sandeep Singh
  • Lalruatthara

MIDFIELDERS

  • Arjun Jayaraj
  • Ayush Adhikari
  • Jeakson Singh
  • Vicente Gomez
  • Givson Singh
  • Ritwik Das
  • Rohit Kumar
  • Sahal Abdul Samad
  • Rahul KP
  • Sergio Cidoncha
  • Seityasen Singh
  • Yendrembam Denechandra
  • Nongdamba Naorem
  • Prasanth Karuthadathkuni
  • Lalthathanga Khawlhring

FORWARDS

  • Facundo Pereyra
  • Gary Hooper
  • Jordan Murray
  • Naorem Mhesh Singh
  • Shaiborlang Kharpan

STRENGTHS

Kerala have never had any discomfort in scoring goals with some good attackers gracing the club in recent times. Even this time they have the likes of Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray and Naorem Mahesh, who are very much capable of taking on the goalscoring burden on their shoulders. Considering last season they scored 29 goals in 18 games, this should be a position of strength for Kerala.

WEAKNESS

They have been continually let down by defensive and goalkeeping mistakes, with miscommunication also a factor in that process. There has also been culpability of conceding goals late into the games wherein there was a sense of complacency as well. Hence, with a renewed defence there should be an improvement in this regard.

KEY PLAYER

Sahal Abdul Samad | Movie News - Times of India
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23-year-old Sahal Abdul Samad has really emerged from the academy ranks to become a senior first-team player at Kerala. Recently also becoming a part of the Indian national team, the attacking midfielder has everything in his arsenal to become a top star for the team. Although he has to improve on his attacking output, there is no doubt that Samad has the potential to fulfil that and be Kerala’s talisman.

PREDICTED TABLE FINISH

6th Place – Kerala definitely have a good squad and will grow further into the competition, but they might lack the experience needed to finish Top 4.

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Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.

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