With the opening game of the seventh season of Indian Super League (ISL) set to kick off on Friday, Nishu Kumar has identified the most difficult opponents that his new club Kerala Blasters will come across.
The young full-back, who joined the Yellow Army for a record deal in the summer, believes Friday's opponents ATK Mohun Bagan and City Football Group-owned Mumbai City coached by Sergio Lobera are going to be the most difficult teams to face this season in the ISL.
"ATK (Mohun Bagan) are a very good team. They are the defending champions (sic) . We are preparing well for the opening game, it will be a very good game, we are ready for that. Mumbai City and ATK (Mohun Bagan), I feel are the toughest teams."
Nishu is also looking forward to taking on his former club Bengaluru on December 13. The 23-year-old spent fives seasons with the Blues and played for the first team in both the ISL and the AFC Cup.
"I grew as a player at BFC. I played so many games and got chances to improve. I will face (Sunil) Chhetri bhai, Udanta (Singh) or Ashique (Kuruniyan) when I play so I am really excited. Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru is a big rivalry in India so I am waiting for that game," he said.
The fullback is understandably disappointed that he will have to play in these big games without fans inside the stadium - a side-effect of the pandemic.
"I like to play in front of the fans and Blasters fans are big in numbers. I would like to play in front of them but this year, we can't play. We all are missing them. I know they will support from home. I hope next year I will play in front of them."