News Article

Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC eye first win in ISL showdown

Written by: P.S. Parameswaran

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Both sides had to be content with a goalless draw in their respective opening games.

After a dull goalless draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) opener against ATK, Kerala Blasters will be hoping to register their first win of the season when they face Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday.

Elsewhere, visitors JFC also had to settle for a solitary point after having a man sent off against NorthEast United just a day later and will also be looking for the three points.

The clash will also witness the return of head coach Steve Coppell, his assistant Ishfaq Ahmed and midfielders Mehtab Hossain and Kervens Belfort to their former home.

Team News

Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown could return from his calf injury, but coach Rene Meulensteen is expected to retain Sandesh Jhingan and Nemanja Lakic Pesic in the heart of defence. He will be expecting an improved show from the star-studded attacking line-up, which failed to test ATK’s backline in the season opener. Dimitar Berbatov is set to start in midfield, with Iain Hume returning upfront, his favourite position.

Kervens Belfort could feature against his former club after missing the opening clash against NorthEast United. The Haitian had a memorable campaign last season, scoring three goals with the Yellow Brigade. Steve Coppell will be without Andre Bikey after the Cameroonian received a straight red card for a nasty foul on NorthEast United forward Luis Alfonso.

 

 Highlights: NorthEast United 0-0 Jamshedpur FC

Head-To-Head

Both sides are meeting each other for the first time in the history of the competition. 

Man To Watch

Kerala Blasters - Courage Pekuson: The 22-year-old was one of the standout performers in the attacking front for Blasters in their opening game against ATK. Though, the trio of Berbatov, Hume and CK Vineeth failed to muster chances, Pekuson impressed home fans with his pace and physical ability. The Ghanian started the match in the #10 position and later switched places with Iain Hume.    

Jamshedpur FC - Anas Edathodika: The Keralite, who will be up against his Indian teammate Jhinghan, had a fine evening against NorthEast United in Guwahati. He rarely put a foot wrong against the Highlanders and made a goal-line clearance in the second half to help the ISL first-timers keep a clean sheet.

Highlights: Kerala Blasters 0-0 ATK

Probable Lineups

Kerala Blasters: Rachubka, Rino, Jhingan, Lakic-Pesic, Lalruatthara, Milan Singh, Arata, Berbatov, Vineeth, Pekuson, Hume.

Jamshedpur FC: Subrata Paul, Shouvik, Anas, Espinosa, Souvik, Mehtab, Moura, Goncalves, Jerry, Azuka, Belfort.

Broadcast

The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 1 and Stars Sports 1 HD. It will also be available for live streaming on Hotstar.

Published: Thu Nov 23, 2017 07:50 PM IST

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