The league’s meanest defence takes on one of its most prolific attacks in this tasty clash.
Jamshedpur FC host FC Pune City in a crucial clash in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports COmplex in Jamshedpur on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts won their first game against Delhi Dynamos last time out after three consecutive 0-0 draws to start the season. With four clean sheets, Jamshedpur FC are yet to concede a goal this campaign and manager Steve Coppell would like to continue this form of winning games and keeping the back door shut.
However, they have struggled to score goals and did find themselves in the same situation in Delhi, with a missed penalty adding to the attacking woes. However, an Izu Azuka strike was enough to hand them the vital first three points of the season.
FC Pune City, on the other hand, have had issues with their defence as they have conceded six goals in their first four games already. Head Coach Ranko Popovic would definitely like to win and avoid shipping anymore at the back in this one.
The Stallions though, are lethal upfront and love to dominate in the attacking third. With the likes of Emiliano Alfaro and Marcelinho in their ranks one must expect goals from their side. The performance against Chennaiyin can be termed as one of those off days at the office due to fatigue. But, the Stallions have that ability to bounce back, having emerged as the league’s second highest goalscorers so far.
FC Pune City have some injury concerns while some players of their Indian contingent seem to have recovered from illness. Rohit Kumar is expected to be back after being ruled out due to viral fever and goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh is expected to return in goal replacing Vishal Kaith.
Key attackers Alfaro and Marcelinho are expected to go all guns blazing again. Kean Lewis is recovering well from injury, but it looks like he will start the game from the bench and would need a couple of games before he gets a first full start this season. Jewel Raja is out due to his hamstring injury that he sustained in the very first minute of the game against Delhi Dynamos.
As for the hosts, star defender Anas Edathodika remains sidelined due to injury, whereas the rest of the team are fit and ready to face the Stallions.
This is the first ever encounter between the two sides.
Man to Watch
Subrata Paul- Jamshedpur FC: The star man for Jamshedpur has been their goalkeeper Subrata Paul. The Tata Football Academy graduate has been in terrific form and is one of their main pillars of strength at the back. One of the best shot-stoppers in the Indian game, he has brought all his experience into play for Jamshedpur in the last four games and will look to continue his stellar form between the sticks on Sundays.
Rohit Kumar- FC Pune City: If he starts the game for the away team, do not expect the Jamshedpur forwards or the midfielders to have an easy run at all. This lad has been exceptional in his tackling, interceptions and passing. He also has a goal to his name as well, The Tiemoue Bakayoko of Pune can have a definite influence on the game.
Did You Know?
- Jamshedpur have not conceded a single goal so far this season.
- Pune have never qualified for the playoffs in the ISL.
- Pune have one of the best shots to goal conversion ratio, whereas Jamshedpur have one of the worst in the league.
The match will be broadcast on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 at 5:30 pm. It will also be available for streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.