The Yellow Brigade, will be relying on the unwavering support of their Yellow Army -- Manjappada -- after a gap of two years at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, with the fans likely to spice up the atmosphere during the match.
Youngster Saurav Mandal - who switched sides from EBFC to KBFC- and Jessel Carneiro - who endured an injury-laden season last year joined head coach Vukomanovic as they addressed the media in the official pre-match press conference in Kochi ahead of the opener.
"It's a great feeling to get back to the stadium and play together with the crowd and the fans because football, we play for the fans, and it'll be such a pleasure and honour to be here on Friday," said Vukomanovic.
"We're happy with the pre-season period, we're happy with everything we achieved in the last couple of months. We're excited and ready for the game," he added.
His opposite number -- former Indian coach Stephen Constantine -- believes his team are far from the finished article, but vowed to do everything in their capacity to take three points from the match.
"I deliberately didn't join any (Indian) club after the Indian national team job. The past is the past and I can't change what happened last season or the season before. I can change what's going to happen next. We've worked very hard in the short time that we've been together. I had 12 players when I arrived here but now we've a squad of 26-27 players and they've worked very hard for me so far," Constantine said.
Where to watch, Kick-off time
The Red and Golds have undergone an overhaul in the summer as the Constantine has taken over the club that has almost an entirely new squad this season. Constantine suggested his team will take it one step at a time in the ISL 2022-23 season as the players and the coaching staff slowly understand each other better.
The ISL lung opener kicks off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi at 7.30pm IST. Star Sports Network is the official broadcast partner of ISL, and the matches will be shown live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD and Star Sports 3. Live streaming of ISL will be available on Disney+HotStar and Jio TV app.