Two-times runner-up Kerala takes on I-League champion and newly-formed Mohun Bagan in the season opener of Indian Football League 2020-21 at GMC Stadium.
Match Timings: Nov 20, 7:30 PM
Last season’s winner and three-times Champion Kolkata are now merged with Mohun B., one of the great sides in the history of Indian Football. Under Kibu Vicuña, Kerala would make a positive start to the 2020-21 start. Vicuan was in-charge of Mohun B. in the I-League and helped his side to win the title. Costa Nhamoinesu has been appointed the captain of the Yellow Army. In the last edition, Kerala finished at the 7th spot and failed to reach the playoffs.
They have signed two new Indian players Sahal and Rahul KP, until 2025. They also got Nishu Kumar on a four-year deal from Bengaluru. From I-League, Givson Singhwas signed on a three-year deal. In overseas players, Kerala would handover the cap to Facundo Pereyra, Costa Nhamoinesu, Bakary Koné, and Vicente Gómez. They also signed Jordan Murray in the AFC player quota.
Meanwhile, Mohun B. will be under Antonio Habas, who has won the Indian Football League twice with Kolkata. After merging the sides, Habas has retained major players in the squad. Roy Krishna will lead the side this season. In the last edition, Kolkata finished second in the table and later won the title by defeating Chennai 3-1 in the final.
Mohun B. ended their I-League journey by winning the trophy, finishing at the top with 39 points, and they beat East Bengal by 16 points. Mohun B. is unbeaten from 14 matches, and the core group of players from Atletico would help them overcome Kerala in the opening encounter. The top quality in the Mohun B. squad is their bench, who can come in as a substitute and can change the game in the second half.
Kerala appeared in four pre-season friendly games and won against Jamshedpur and Hyderabad. They recently played a goalless draw with Mumbai, following a 3-1 defeat to E. Bengal. Mohun B. didn’t feature in any pre-season friendly game, but they are arguably the best side and favourites to win this match.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Lineup: Albino, Costa, Kone, Jessel, Prashant, Sahal, Cidoncha, Vicente, Ritwik, Nong, Hooper
Pre-season friendly: W D L W
Lineup: Arindam Bhattacharya, Tiri, Jhingan, Kotal, Subhasish Bose, Edu Garcia, M. Soosairaj, J. Rane, Javi Hernandez, David Williams, Krishna
Pre-season friendly: No Matches
8 goals in A-League 2019-20
3 goals in Cypriot First Division 2019-20
15 goals & 6 assists in Season 2019-20
7 goals & 5 assists in Season 2019-20