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Expect the unexpected in ISL final between Kolkata and Kerala

Despite finding it hard to beat Kerala Blasters in the league stage, Atletico de Kolkata midfielder Luis Garcia believes things can change today in the Indian Super League final at DY Patil Stadium

Atletico de Kolkata may not have managed to beat Kerala Blasters in either of their league encounters in the Indian Super League (ISL), but marquee man and captain Luis Garcia said that given the league’s unpredictable nature anything could happen in today’s final, to be played at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium.

Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters train at the Cooperage on the eve of their ISL final yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande.

“In one game, anything can happen. It doesn’t matter if you have won before. We saw Chennaiyin FC finish first (at the end of the ISL league stage), far away from the other teams and they couldn’t make it (to the final). At the end, in one game, anything can happen. Tomorrow, we will see a big game, a great game with the two most consistent teams in the whole season and we will see what happens,” Garcia told reporters yesterday.

Kolkata were held 1-1 by the Blasters at the Salt Lake Stadium, before the Sachin Tendulkar-owned franchise emerged 2-1 winners in Kochi.

Luis fit to play
The midfielder, who has scored twice in the ISL, was substituted in the second leg of their semi-final encounter against FC Goa due to a niggle in his hamstring. However, the Spaniard stated that he was fit and raring to go in tonight’s final.

“I think I am going to be fine. There wasn’t too much time to rest from the game we played in Kolkata. It was a tough game for us and I felt a bit tired and we decided at that moment to stop there because we got those goals at the end to go through (to the final). I hope there is no problem and I can be there tomorrow but the coach will decide,” Garcia added.

Exciting for fans
Garcia’s Kerala counterpart, David James, meanwhile, said fans could expect an exciting encounter today.

“That game in Kochi was close to say the least. Even the game at Kolkata was close. I think it (final) will be a very good tie, it will be exciting,” said the goalkeeper.

While James refused to divulge his team for the final, he expressed confidence that the squad that would take
the field today would lift the title. “There are a few players who will miss out through injury or suspension, but everyone else will want to play. We have rotated the squad a lot during the season and I am confident that whatever team I pick will do their best and if they do that, they should be good enough to win,” he said.

90: Number of shots on target for Kerala Blasters — nine more than Atletico de Kolkata

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