Wounded Bengaluru look to bounce back against struggling Jamshedpur
Written by: Srinivasan
Albert Roca's men would want to put Sunday's shock loss to Chennayin FC behind them when they take on the other ISL debutants.
Albert Roca would no doubt be a furious man after losing his first Indian Super League (ISL) game at home to Chennayin FC. The Steelmen were unable to break down a resolute Chennayin side that stole three points right at the death. The Spaniard highlighted the physical approach that John Gregory's side used to good effect in that game and he will no doubt be aware of what Steve Coppell's Jamshedpur FC bring to the table as well. The fellow ISL debutants have notched up one win so far, conceding once and scoring just the solitary goal.
Roca's men know that they cannot afford another setback at home and will want to take all three points. For Coppell, a draw seems like the outcome of his choice as he is wise enough to know that going toe-to-toe with Bengaluru's possession game will not yield dividends.
The stakes are greater for the home side as prior to the loss to Chennayin, there was no sign of the team slipping barring the close loss to FC Goa. However, Chennayin's win proved that the Blues could be beaten at home and also showed a template for other sides to follow to tackle Bengaluru's open game. The loss put Bengaluru in the 2nd position having played a game more than leaders FC Goa. They would want to prove that the loss to Chennayin was a one-time thing and get back to winning ways against a side that is finding it hard to score or win games.
For the visitors, while they have conceded only one goal, they are also finding it difficult to put the ball in the back of the net, something that Bengaluru have found to be of second nature. Playing away from home, it will be a test of Coppell's managerial abilities on whether he can get his team to pull off yet another miracle at the Kanteerava Stadium.
Roca shuffled his pack in the last game against Chennayin and saw his team underperform tremendously. The likes of Erik Paartalu, Juanan and Udanta Singh were rested and the team's dynamic took a beating. It is expected that the trio will return to the starting XI with Nishu Kumar and Antonio Dovale making way.
Coppell has made minimal changes to his preferred starting XI and this trend may continue heading into this game against Bengaluru. Izu Azuka has been their only scorer and looks set to retain his place. The Englishman may want to emulate Chennayin's strategy to get a speedy forward to occupy the central defenders and get a physically imposing forward to occupy the full-backs.
Head to Head
This will be the first encounter between the two sides in the ISL.
Man to Watch
Miku-Bengaluru FC: The Venezuelan was off his game in the loss to Chennayin and was expertly shut down by the opposition. He will be looking to return to scoring ways against a side that has found it hard score goals, but have been good at keeping opposition teams at bay.
Mehtab Hossain-Jamshedpur FC: The former East Bengal man is a tireless work-horse in the middle of the pitch, something that Coppell will count on if his team is to take any semblance of a positive result out of this game. Hossain can take inspiration from Dhanpal Ganesh and Bikramjit Singh's performance on Sunday in how they kept Bengaluru from scoring.
Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet, Khabra, Juanan, Johnson, Bheke, Lenny, Paartalu, Edu, Chhetri, Miku, Udanta
Jamshedpur FC: Subrata,Souvik,Bikey,Tiri,Ghosh,Mehtab,Trindade,Jairu,Siddharth,Azuka
Did You Know:
- JFC centre-back Andre Bikey played under Steve Coppell during the pair's time at Reading.
- Jamshedpur FC have the most number of clean sheets in this year's ISL (4).
- Bengaluru FC are the top passers in the league with 2949 completed passes so far.
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD 7.45 pm onwards. It will be also available for live streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Published: Wed Dec 20, 2017 06:46 PM IST