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ISL 2017-18 best attack and defence lock horns in Goa


High scoring FC Goa set to play defensive solid debutant Jamshedpur FC. 

It's a battle of the opposites as the team which has scored the most number of goals hosts the team which has conceded the least as the Hero Indian Super League nears the halfway stage.

It's FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC, with the former striking at a rate of 2.5 goals per match, scoring 20 in 8 games so far. But Jamshedpur have let in just four goals in as many matches, and as the visiting head coach Steve Coppell put it, it looks like offence vs defence on paper. 

"Sounds like a good contest - test of our defence against what has been the most fluid attacking unit until now. They score goals freely as they've shown against a number of sides and it is a challenge to do our best to stop them and hurt them. We've certainly not come (here) to only keep them out - but also try to expose any weaknesses they might have at the back," said the former Manchester United player.

It may seem that Jamshedpur are willing to sit back, but Coppell also made it clear that the earnest desire was to play a more attractive brand of football.

"It's not our intention to try and get a 0-0 or squeak a game 1-0. We want to play more expansive football," he said, adding that he hopes his defence tightens up after they let in two goals in their previous game [vs Mumbai City FC].

"Anas has been out for a while and the pitch at home is fairly demanding on its own so it was a big question whether he should play right away. It was apparently the miscommunication in the back four and we hope that is tidied up."

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High-flying Goa have surprisingly not won in their last three games and it is believed it has been down to player rotation. However, head coach Sergio Lobera said it was not a case of safeguarding their interests, but that of putting players above results that forced his hand - given that they played two matches in the space of four matches. He also confirmed that new signing Lalmuankima, who joined on a free contract from Hero I-League champions Aizawl FC, is still not available for selection.

Lobera was insistent that his side will continue playing the way they have, and that there was no worry that teams were starting to find them out.

"I've seen every game in the league so far and I don't think teams are playing differently against us. The next few games will show whether we deserve to be in the playoffs. As for tomorrow, we will need to be at our best to beat a side which has kept five cleansheets and conceded just four goals," the Spaniard said.


FC Goa

Sergio Lobera will probably stick to his 4-2-3-1 formation which ensures Corominas receives good service upfront.

Goalkeeper: Laxmikant Kattimani

Defenders: Narayan Das, Mohamed Ali, Sergio Juste, Seriton Fernandes

Midfielders: Edu Bedia, Manuel Arana, Brandon Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai, Manuel Lanzarote

Forward: Ferran Corominas

Jamshedpur FC

Steve Coppell may use a 4-2-3-1 formation of his own to counter the home team.

Goalkeeper: Subrata Paul

Defenders: Souvik Chakrabarti, Anas Edathodika, Tiri, Shouvik Ghosh,

Midfielders: Mehtab Hossain, Memo, Trindade Goncalves, Jerry Mawhmingthanga, Kervens Belfort

Forward: Izu Azuka

Published: Wed Jan 10, 2018 07:52 PM IST


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