The Mariners have lost their last two games against the Men of Steel.
ATK Mohun Bagan aims to close their gap to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table when they face a struggling Jamshedpur FC on Thursday. With the Men of Steel on a six-game losing streak, the Mariners will hope to pile on their misery and get another win at the Salt Lake Stadium. All the visitors can hope for is to finally find some form and ruin the Kolkata giants party in their own yard.
With that being said, let’s have a look at what this encounter has to offer.
Plenty of chances but no finished product
ATK Mohun Bagan
The Mariners have had a bit of a rollercoaster of a ride in the opening few months of the ISL season. They’ve suffered some damning losses, but have also been able to grind out narrow wins to at least stay in the race for the league championship.
Juan Ferrando is well aware that his side is yet to hit their peak this season, but they can take a step forward in the game against Jamshedpur. They’re facing a side in the middle of a major crisis, having had an awful start to the season. At this point, even dropping points – let alone a loss – can be embarrassing for the Mariners.
Nothing else than a win will be an acceptable result for them. Fans will also expect them to win lavishly and not see another 1-0 win. The pressure will be on the players to deliver and thrill their home fans at the Salt Lake Stadium. For ATKMB, the stakes are quite high as they realize that dropping more points can see them definitively move out of the race for that AFC Champions League spot.
Jamshedpur FC’s downfall from last season has been something rather inexplicable. They’ve lost their last six games and are on one of the worst losing streaks in ISL history. Of course, they might be heading into this game as the underdogs, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing to lose in it.
The Men of Steel are aware that another loss could see them match NorthEast United’s record for the most successive losses in the ISL. They desperately need a point or three to rejuvenate their season.
Aidy Boothroyd has to change some aspects of his side and get them motivated to start winning games again. The season is still relatively early, so the Men of Steel still have a chance at a respectable finish if they can regain some form. Jamshedpur will hope to frustrate the Mariners by being defensively sturdy and hope to hurt them in set-pieces or in the counter-attacks.
Injury & Team News
For ATK Mohun Bagan, the major absentee remains Joni Kauko – who is out for the rest of the season and might be replaced in January. Brendan Hamill is suspended for this game after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season against Bengaluru FC. Florentin Pogba is struggling to regain full fitness, while Avilash Paul is also recovering from injury.
Jamshedpur FC terminated the contract of Wellington Priori with mutual consent recently. But they have a fully fit side apart from that.
Head to Head
ATK Mohun Bagan has faced Jamshedpur FC four times so far in the ISL, losing three games and only winning once.
Played – 4
ATKMB – 1
Jamshedpur FC – 4
Drawn – 0
ATK Mohun Bagan (4-2-3-1)
Vishal Kaith (GK), Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Carl McHugh, Subashish Bose, Deepak Tangri, Lenny Rodrigues, Manvir Singh, Hugo Boumous, Ashique Kuruniyan, Dimitri Petratos
Jamshedpur FC (4-1-4-1)
TP Rehensh (GK), Laldinliana Renthlei, Eli Sabia, Peter Hartley, Ricky Lallawmawma, Jitendra Singh, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Boris Singh, Farukh Choudhary, Ritwik Das, Daniel Chima Chukwu
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Player to Watch
Ashique Kuruniyan (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Ashique Kuruniyan is slowly, but surely starting to find his groove at ATK Mohun Bagan. He is growing into that left-wing role and making it his own at Liston Colaco’s expense. He’ll get more chances to get among the goals against the defensively vulnerable Jamshedpur FC side. Kuruniyan is likely to go up against Laldinliana Renthlei, who has struggled this season.
The right-back was tormented by Naorem Mahesh Singh in his side’s loss to East Bengal last month. Ashique will hope to replicate something similar, making darting runs down the left and moving into the box. But he’ll need to be razor-sharp with his final product to really make an impact and have goal contributions against the Men of Steel.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Jamshedpur FC)
Even in their tough season, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has produced respectable performances for Jamshedpur FC. He took some time to adapt to the ISL but has been pretty solid in the last few games. The ex-Arsenal midfielder scored against East Bengal and created 3 goal-scoring chances against Kerala Blasters. He possesses some special tricks up his sleeve to trouble the defenders in the ISL.
Emmanuel-Thomas’ smart movement with the ball and excellent final third passes can help create chances for his side on Thursday. But he’ll probably have to try and get into more scoring situations and be sharp with his finishing for his side to get a result. Nevertheless, with his unpredictable style, the Englishman will be one the ATKMB defenders need to be wary of.
Did you know?
- ATK Mohun Bagan is looking to win their fourth successive home game, having won their last three games at the Salt Lake Stadium.
- Jamshedpur FC has scored 6 goals this season in the ISL. Only NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC (4 each) have scored fewer.
- Pritam Kotal (18) has made more interceptions than any player in the ISL this season.
The match between ATK Mohun Bagan and Jamshedpur FC will take place at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, on December 8 (Thursday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the match.
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