Kochi: There is not much to separate as Atletico de Kolkata, aiming to regain the perch they just lost, gear up to lock horns with the steadily-improving Kerala Blasters FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match here on Friday.
While Atletico de Kolkata had been pushed to the second position by current leaders Chennaiyin FC, the Sachin Tendulkar-owned side are placed third with 12 points in the points standings.
Sourav Ganguly's visiting side has four wins from nine outings to the three registered by Kerala Blasters FC ahead of the next game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Kolkata re second Chennaiyin on the basis of number of goals scored.
While the visitors can get their top spot back by earning three points, the hosts can consolidate their third position with a win in this potentially riveting encounter. Both teams come into this match on the back of 1-0 wins against Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United FC respectively, with their attacking midfielders, Penn Orji and Luis Garca, getting them the goals.
From an attacking point of view, the hosts look the better team despite having scored half the number of goals than the visitors (6-12).
However, their shots (109-93), shots on goal (53-49) and crosses (167-117) all exceed that of the away side. Kerala will hope to translate these attacking stats into goals tomorrow.
Both teams have also managed four clean sheets each and rival custodians David James and Subhasish Roy Chowdhury will be looking to add another. The stats show that Kolkata defend better than their hosts -- they put in more tackles (191-147), blocks (59-55) and interceptions (291-286).
Atletico de Kolkata will once again look up to their inspirational skipper Luis Garcia to not just help them in dominating the game in the midlfield but also in getting the goals.