The two teams are on the fringes of the top four and after struggling for consistency all season have no more room for slip-ups
Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC lock horns in a crucial Hero Indian Super League battle for a “prize worth winning” at the Mumbai Football Arena, on Thursday.
Jamshedpur and Mumbai City are placed fifth and sixth respectively on the points table and know that a win for either team will boost their chances of qualification and significantly reduce the chances of the other from moving ahead. It’s a straight battle for the semi-final slot and nobody wants to leave anything to chance.
“You saw how in Jamshedpur, we had a 2-2 result. Both teams wanted to win and the same will be true tomorrow. The prize is worth winning tomorrow and both sides will be very much trying to win,” said Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell.
Jamshedpur are placed fifth with 19 points from 13 matches and can displace FC Goa from their fourth spot, even though the Goan club would have played two matches less. Coppell disagreed with suggestions that it’s a do or die clash but agreed that a win can work wonders.
Alexandre Guimaraes pre-match-press-conference
“I don’t think so it’s a do-or-die match for either team. We have five games left. Can you lose the game and still be part of the playoff? Yes. But it will be more difficult. There is lots to play for. It’s not quite do-or-die but almost do-or-die,” said Coppell.
Mumbai City FC managed a fantastic 4-3 victory over FC Goa in an away game with a late winner from Balwant Singh. The victory threw them a lifeline and with 17 points from 12 matches, they are still in the running for a place among the top four.
“In these kind of games, every detail will make the difference. Jamshedpur is not a team which concedes too many goals. We have to be very much accurate to convert the chances that we have. Our defence has to be very alert. In the last games, they have changed their approach. This is one of the tough matches,” said Mumbai City coach Alexandre Guimaraes.
Mumbai City lost their last two matches at home against Kerala Blasters (0-1) and Bengaluru FC (1-3). Guimaraes is aware of the shortcomings that led to their defeats and has now taken measures to overcome those problems.
Mumbai City missed out on the services of their injured captain Lucian Goian and Brazilian midfielder Leo Costa in the earlier match. Guimaraes will be hoping he can count on their services, particularly in a game with so much at stake.
ISL Week 12 Preview: Mumbai host Jamshedpur in battle of playoffs hopefuls as incumbents look to cement spots
Mumbai City FC 0 – 0 Jamshedpur FC (1 draw)
Thiago Santos (Mumbai City FC)
The Brazilian has been lethal in the Mumbai attack. With his quick runs and incisive finishing, Thiago has led attacks with gusto, and rarely leaves any opportunity go a-begging. The 22-year-old has already bagged five goals and an assist and would want to put on his scoring shoes against Jamshedpur’s solid defence.
Izu Azuka (Jamshedpur FC)
The Nigerian has been the focal point in Jamshedpur’s attacking line throughout. A pacey and strong player, he is a constant threat to any defence. He has three goals to his name already this season and will be looking to bag some more when his team visits Mumbai.
Mumbai City FC
Alexandre Guimaraes may opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation that would add versatility both in attack and defence.
Goalkeeper: Amrinder Singh
Defenders: Raju Gaikwad, Lucian Goian, Gerson Vieira, Sanju Pradhan
Midfielders: Everton Santos, Achille Emana, Sahil Tavora, Abinash Ruidas, Thiago Santos
Forward: Balwant Singh
Mumbai City head coach Guimaraes on his plans for the clash ahead: “I think it will be a game where both teams will be competitive. So, in these types of games, you have to go into every detail, and that will make the difference. But they (Jamshedpur FC) are not a team that concedes too many chances. We have to convert the ones that we get. Our defence has to be very alert.”
Steve Coppell may use his own 4-2-3-1 formation that provides enough options in the middle and on the flanks.
Goalkeeper: Subrata Paul
Defenders: Souvik Chakrabarti, Anas Edathodika, Tiri, Andre Bikey
Midfielders: Mehtab Hossain, Memo, Wellington Priori, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Farukh Choudhary
Forward: Izu Azuka
teve Coppell pre-match-press-conference
Jamshedpur head coach Coppell on his team’s objectives for the match: “At the moment, our intentions are to go out and try and take the three points. Maybe during the course of the game, there might be occasions where we say things are going right, things are not going right, let’s protect what we got. But certainly, at the moment, our intentions are to come here and be as open and attacking as we can be to win the game.”
- Both teams have picked up five wins so far.
- While Jamshedpur has a goal difference of 1, Mumbai has a goal difference of 2.
Jamshedpur FC 2 – 2 Mumbai City FC (5th January 2018 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur)
Mumbai City FC: W L L D W
Jamshedpur FC: W L W W L