Both teams head to this clash on the back of two winless matches.

There will be plenty of familiarness when Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC lock horns in the 2021-22 Indian Super League in Bambolim on Sunday. Once of Chennaiyin, Owen Coyle brought along with him Nerijus Valskis to Jamshedpur last season. The lethal marksman completes a dramatic transfer back to the team where he scored 15 goals, leading them to the ISL final two seasons ago.

However, the Lithuanian striker will sit out the game on Sunday. He will only be eligible to don the Super Machan shirt again next week.

“I have known Valskis for a long time. We were looking for a foreigner who will bring in the goals. He is a good character and knows the team. For us, this was the best option we could go ahead with,” Chennaiyin coach Bozidar Bandovic commented on his latest acquisition.

The Stakes

On one side, Chennaiyin have suffered two back-to-back defeats and the more worrying factor for coach Bozidar Bandovic would be his usually watertight defence looking a bit shaky. Chennaiyin did not have the rub of the green against Bengaluru FC in their last game. However, starting from goalkeeper Vishal Kaith to the backline, the former champions looked shaky.

The good part has been Mirlan Murzaev’s growing influence on the team. He has scored two goals and provided two assists for Chennaiyin FC in 2021-22 ISL. He is their joint leading scorer along with Vladimir Koman.

Jamshedpur failed to win their last two games, sharing the spoils with Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC. The Owen Coyle-coached side have played some eye-catching football so far with Greg Stewart at the heart of their good shows.

Greg Stewart
Stewart has scored five goals and assisted four times in ISL 2021-22 (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Stewart has scored five goals and has four assists to his name this season. His nine-goal contributions in the league are the joint highest along with Igor Angulo (9). The Scottish attacker has already made heads turn and along with the likes of Jordan Murray, Jitendra Singh, Alexandre Lima the team has looked solid more often than not.

“Everybody would accept Jamshedpur has done really well and deserve more points on the board. What we have to do is focus on the remaining games and make sure we keep ourselves in those top spots,” Coyle said.

When Chennaiyin and Jamshedpur face each other on Sunday, it will be a contest between two teams who are on the opposite ends of the spectrum of attacking efficiency. Jamshedpur take more shots per game than any other team in ISL 21-22 with 14.5 shots. Despite being above average in this metric, Chennaiyin are the least accurate shooters in the league.

Lallianzuala Chhangte could play his 50th match for Chennaiyin, becoming the seventh player to make 50 or more appearances for the two-time ISL champions. JFC’s Mobashir Rahman is also lined up to achieve a similar feat.

Team News

Rafael Crivellaro is out for the  season and the club is working on replacements in the winter transfer window. Ariel Borysiuk suffered a groin injury in the previous game, but is likely to play against Jamshedpur. For Owen Coyle’s side, Komal Thatal is doubtful for this match, while Nerijus Valskis has moved to Chennaiyin FC. However, Mobashir Rahman, Pronay Halder and Len Doungel have trained with the first team and are available for selection.

Head-to-Head

Jamshedpur and Chennaiyin FC have played each other on eight occasions. Out of eight encounters, Marina Machans have won three of them compared to Jamshedpur FC’s two. Both teams also shared the spoils on three occasions.

Probable lineups

Jamshedpur FC: Rehnesh TP (GK); Laldinliana Renthlei, Narender Gehlot, Peter Hartley, Ricky Lallawmawma; Ritwik Das, Pronay Halder, Alex Lima, Len Doungel; Greg Stewart, Jordan Murray.

Chennaiyin FC: Vishal Kaith (GK); Reagan Singh, Narayan Das, Slavko Damjanovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Germanpreet Singh, Vladimir Koman, Anirudh Thapa, Edwin Vanspaul; Rahim Ali, Mirlan Murzaev.

Did You Know

  • Nerijus Valskis won the golden boot in the 2019-20 season with Chennaiyin FC. He has returned to the club.
  • Seven of the 11 goals Chennaiyin FC have conceded in ISL 2021-22 have come in their last two games.
  • Whenever Chennaiyin have won their first game, they top the league.
  • Greg Stewart have been involved in nine of 14 goals Jamshedpur FC have scored this season.

Telecast

The Jamshedpur FC vs Chennaiyin FC match will take place at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Sunday, January 2. The kick-off will happen at 9:30 pm IST. The match will be telecast LIVE on the Star Sports Network and is available for streaming LIVE in the Disney+Hotstar platform and the JioTV app.

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