ATK vs Kerala Blasters
Indian Super League – Season 5
Date: Saturday, 29th September 2018
Kick-off at 15:00 UK/ 16:00 CET/ 20:30 IST
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium (Kolkata).
The fifth edition of Indian Super League kick starts this Saturday, 29 September 2018 with a cracker of a match between two times finalists ATK and Kerala Blasters.
The teams met in the finals in the first and third edition and both times the lucky team was ATK, first they won it on an injury time goal and the second time on penalties.
Last season is a forgettable one for either sides with Kolkata finishing at the bottom of the group while Kerala finished just outside the play-off zone.
There are plenty of new faces in both benches, however the notable one is the signing of Steve Coppell as ATK head-coach. The former Manchester City boss made his debut in India as Kerala Blasters head-coach back in 2016, the same edition they loss to Kolkata on finals.
Coppell was the head-coach of new franchise Jamshedpur last season, the team impressed in patches, yet failed to finish inside top four.
ATK is a team with better resources, thus they roped in Cameroonian defender André Bikey and former Espanyol and Zaragoza midfielder Manuel Lanzarote to bolster the squad. Meantime, the signing of English defender John Johnson, who played over 125 games for Bengaluru suggests Coppell means business this time.
Meantime, Kerala decided not to renew the contract of fan favorite Ian Hume alongside the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown. David James who took over the ruins from Rene Meulensteen half way through last season has opted for young local players this team, the former England goalkeeper hinting at a three-year plan.
Yet, the Kochi based franchise has a number of players who are at the club for long term. The young Ghanaian Courage Pekuson and Ugandan Kizito Keziron were livewires in the midfield last season. The teams had difficulties upfront, however the addition of Matej Poplatnik, who scored 46 goals from 64 matches for Slovenian club NK Triglav Kranj could solve the problem this time.
ATK vs Kerala Blasters Head-to-head
The Kolkata based outfit lead the overall head-to-head with 4 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss from 10 overall meetings with the Blasters.
Their two meetings of last season were stalemates, their meeting on matchday 1 at Kochi was goal-less followed by 2-2 draw in Kolkata.
ATK are unbeaten at home in h2h matches against Kerala, 1 win and 3 draws.
All four h2h matches between ATK and Kerala Blasters at this venue saw both teams scoring.
ATK vs Kerala Blasters Prediction
It may take a few games for us to figure out how the season pan out either sides with plenty of new additions to the playing eleven.
Both managers have enough experience with local conditions and they know this ground inside out.
We have seen during the pre-season that these sides opt to play attacking football and with 4 previous h2h matches at this venue seeing both teams scoring, we may not look at another market for our best bet.
I wouldn’t bank on full-time result here, team managed by Coppell are often slow starters and one may not know what to expect from Blasters.
ATK vs Kerala Blasters Betting Tips
Both teams to Score priced at 3/4 (1.75) is the recommended best bet for this fixture.