Indian soccer league powerhouses Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters shall be engaged in a hard fought battle as they clash against each other in the grand finale of the third edition of the Indian Super League later on Sunday.
The title clash shall be played out in front of soccer frenzy fans at a potentially jam packed Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi.
The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium has proved to be a fortress of Kerala Blasters Football Club as the team have been on a six-match winning streak on their home turf and have lost only once here all through this season.
Their only defeat came against their opponents in the first game at home this year. Kerala Blaster would enjoy every moment of playing in front of their home fans who would stand like a rock behind them.
However, ATK have been all dominating against the Blasters in the last three years, beating them four times, including in the final of the inaugural edition in Mumbai in 2014.
Blasters head coach Steve Coppell too feels that though playing in front of the home crowd would be an advantage, it's the game that players play on the field that matters.
"It will obviously be a comfortable atmosphere for us because it's our home crowd but the crowd doesn't play. They give us huge support. Whoever wins tomorrow needs to earn the trophy by playing well.
The crowd is nothing more than a great background for us to play against but it won't give us a goal-start or stop goals going in," said Coppell.
ATK's Jewel Raja feels that his team loves playing in front of a big crowd. "Nobody wants to play in front of an empty stadium. Whether they are supporting us or them doesn't matter. Just the atmosphere of a packed stadium will bring out the best in us," said the Kolkata midfielder.
The final gives the Blasters the perfect chance to exact revenge for the defeat they suffered two years ago in the final.