Bengaluru FC will be looking to disrupt Jamshedpur FC’s apple cart and sharpen their playoff aspirations when the two teams meet in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. Jamshedpur have won their last three games, spread over two weeks, to sit four points behind league leaders Hyderabad FC in second position but with two more games to go. A win will see them hot on the heels of Hyderabad, but in Bangalore they will face a rival who have regained their mojo.
The Blues won back-to-back games for the first time this season when they beat Kerala Blasters in the last game and also broke into the top four for the first time. They have 20 points in 14 games.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday, looked as usual in goal for the former champions with Bengaluru keeping four clean sheets in the last seven games. Three of those four clean sheets have come in the last four games.
They have only filtered a goal in that period. They have become more compact lately. They have let the opposition have more of the ball in the last 4 games and this can be seen through their possession numbers.
Roshan Singh Naorem scored his first Hero ISL goal in the previous game and has looked good this season too. Only three defenders have had more goalscoring contributions in a season than Roshan Singh, underlining his impact not only in defense but also in attack.
“Jamshedpur is a physical team, they have a new player in (Daniel) Chima who brings a lot of speed and can score a lot of goals. Our last game was good and tough but I think we did a little bit more than them that night,” said the coach. Blues boss Marco Pezzaiuoli at the pre-match press conference when asked about Jamshedpur.
“I think it’s going to be a tough game, but now, after the lockdown, we’ve had three games in seven days. We’re not back to our best yet, condition-wise, and that’s something we want to work on.” he added he.
For Jamshedpur, their strong defense is one of the main reasons for their success. The Men of Steel have kept a clean sheet in their last two games and have only conceded four goals in their previous six games after scoring eight in their first five games.
Daniel Chima Chukwu scored on his debut since leaving SC East Bengal and head coach Owen Coyle expects him to keep shooting.
“He is here because of his qualities. He is a great footballer and has won leagues at a very high level. He has played in some tough leagues. He has shown what a good player he is. He is a great addition.” Coyle said.
“We know the quality we have. What we want to do is do the job. We have the opportunity to get the points and we want to continue our winning streak,” he added.
The last time the two sides met, it was a scoreless draw, but with higher stakes this time around, it promises to be a battle to look forward to.