Melbourne City FC will play its first pre-season friendly almost 9,000 kilometres away from home on Tuesday night as they take on Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters.
Warren Joyce’s side has been in training for three weeks since their return to pre-season at CFA Melbourne and the match will see City’s full squad tested for the contest at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
It’s been a wet welcome to Kerala for City who have endured monsoonal-like conditions over their time in India’s south but the chance to hit the pitch for the first time on Tuesday will spur on the group in front of a large crowd.
The hosts - who are in a similar stage of their pre-season - will be an unknown entity with City heading into uncharted waters for the contest. Lead by Head Coach and former English international David James, the Blasters sport a number of local and foreign players including Serbian duo Nemanja Lakic-Pesic and Salvisa Stojanovic, Slovenian Matej Poplantnik and French defender Cyril Kali.
City and Kerala have named their full squads for the tournament with both teams looking to use their full compliment.
What was said?
Melbourne City FC Head Coach Warren Joyce
“We’re going to use that as a game where we play everybody forty-five minutes, it’s the first opportunity that we’ve had all pre-season to do that so that’s what that game will be used for,”
“I know their manager but you don’t necessarily know what to expect from them and their side so we will play our game. All the lads looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of good crowd and we’re looking forward to giving a good account of ourselves.”
Kerala Blasters Head Coach David James
“Melbourne City FC has brought some very experienced A-League players and there are also players who are very young. There is not much footage on them, I'm sure they are capable too. So, preparation becomes slightly more difficult,”
Where and when?
City will face Kerala Blasters at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday 24 July, kick-off 7pm local, 11.30pm AEST. Follow the match on Melbourne City's social channels for live updates of the match.