Kerala Blasters FC will square off against East Bengal FC in the opening match of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday, October 7.

Under the tutelage of manager Ivan Vukomanović and captain Jessel Carneiro, Kerala Blasters will aim to go one step further after finishing runners-up in the previous edition of the ISL. The Blasters lost to Hyderabad FC on penalties in the ISL 2021-22 final at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa earlier in March this year.

Having registered nine wins, seven draws and four losses, the Ivan Vukomanović-coached side had earlier finished fourth in the ISL 2021-22 standings with 34 points from 20 matches to advance to the semi-finals. The Blasters had later pipped ISL Shield winners Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in the two-legged semi-finals to storm into the summit clash.

Since the inception of the ISL in 2014, Kerala Blasters have finished as runners-up in 2014, 2016 and 2021-22 seasons. The Tuskers will start as one of the favourites to clinch their maiden title this season.

On the other hand, the revamped East Bengal squad will look for an improved showing after finishing at the bottom of the ISL 2021-22 standings. The Red and Gold Brigade managed just a solitary win in 11 matches last season as they accumulated 11 points from 20 matches.

Having moved from I-League to ISL in 2020, East Bengal had finished ninth in their inaugural ISL campaign.

Led by newly-appointed head coach Stephen Constantine, East Bengal have assembled a strong squad comprising experienced Indian and foreign players ahead of the ninth season of ISL. 

Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal head-to-head

Kerala Blasters and East Bengal have faced each other four times in the Indian Super League. While the Blasters have registered one victory, the other three matches have ended in draws.

The last time these two sides locked horns in the ISL, Kerala Blasters secured a 1-0 win in the previous edition at Tilak Maidan, Goa, earlier this year.

Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal squads

Kerala Blasters squad

Goalkeepers: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Karanjit Singh, Muheet Shabir, Sachin Suresh

Defenders: Victor Mongil, Marko Leskovic, Hormipam Ruivah, Sandeep Singh, Bijoy Varghese, Nishu Kumar, Jessel Carneiro, Harmanjot Khabra

Midfielders: Jeakson Singh, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Ayush Adhikari, Saurav, Adrian Luna, Sahal Abdul Samad, Bryce Brian Miranda, Vibin Mohanan, Nihal Sudeesh, Givson Singh

Forwards: Dimitrios Diamantakos, Rahul K.P, Apostolos Giannou, Bidyashagar Singh, Sreekutta

East Bengal squad

Goalkeepers: Kamaljit Singh, Naveen Kumar, Pawan Kumar

Defenders: Ivan Gonzalez, Charis Kyriakou, Ankit Mukherjee, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Lalchungnunga, Mohammed Rakip, Sarthak Golui, Nabi Khan, Pritam Singh, Tuhin Das

Midfielders: Alex Lima, Jordan O’Doherty, Amarjit Singh, Mobashir Rahman, Souvik Chakrabarti, Wahengbam Luwang, Aniket Jadhav

Forwards: Cleiton Silva, Eliandro, VP Suhair, Semboi Haokip, Sumeet Passi, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Himanshu Jangra

Where to watch Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal ISL 2022-23 match live in India?

The Kerala Blasters FC vs East Bengal FC ISL 2022-23 match will be telecast live from 7:30 PM IST on the Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD and Star Sports 3 TV channels in India.

Live streaming of Kerala Blasters FC vs East Bengal FC will be available on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.

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Featured photo: Indian Super League