Both the hosts and visitors were held to a goalless draw in their previous respective fixtures.
Kerala Blasters have won only one game so far this season and will be desperate to register another victory to bring back confidence and appease the fans. Meanwhile, Jamshedpur FC are in a relatively better position and will be aiming for a win against the Southerners.
Ahead of the match, Kerala Blasters’ head coach David James and Jamshedpur FC’s gaffer Cesar Ferrando met with the media.
David James (Kerala Blasters)
David James has not found his ideal starting XI yet and he is understandably under pressure to deliver results. A Blasters supporters group called Manjapadda recently termed the Englishman as ‘clueless’.
However, David James said he had not seen it and hence could not comment on it. He said, “I didn’t see the statement and can’t comment. I don’t have problems with people’s opinion. I think we have been close. And in few games, decisions did not go our way. Number-wise, we would never get 60000 people in the stadium again. I want people to come to watch Kerala Blasters. One reason or another, results have not gone our way. What we can do as coach and players is give our 100%.”
Jamshedpur FC are currently fourth in the point table with 15 points from 10 games, while Kerala Blasters have notched just eight points from nine games. Nevertheless, James thinks Jamshedpur FC have had a similarly close season to his side.
He said, “We have only won a game this season. Every game is tough. Jamshedpur FC had a similarly close season to us. We have not gotten enough points. During Jamshedpur FC’s unbeaten run, they were drawing games. There are a lot of positives, especially from a defensive point of view.”
David James also said that he would be forced to make at least one change in the January transfer window. He also backed his decision to make frequent changes in the lineup. He said that Bengaluru FC had made three changes.
Cesar Ferrando (Jamshedpur FC)
Cesar Ferrando was wary of the threat that Kerala Blasters could pose and said they have a good team. He said, “I think Kerala could play very well. They have a good team and a good coach. They play in front of their supporters.”
The coach also had kind words for Soosairaj but said the national team coach has to decide his selection. He said, “The national team’s coach has to decide. I would like him to be in the team, but it is not my work. I wish he can play in the national team. I’m happy with his work, he is working very hard.”
Cesar Ferrando also admitted that Mukhi’s absence is a blow for their team. He said, “Mukhi’s absence is a blow for us. He is a good player. He is different from the rest. He is fast, he has the ball in his mind. He committed a foul, he is banned but I think he is a good striker.”
Nikola Krcmarevic will miss the game, while Slavisa Stojanovic and Courage Pekuson are unlikely to feature in the game.
Raju Gaikwad and Yumnam Raju will not be playing tomorrow. The coach said there would be some changes.
Dheeraj, Jhingan, Pesic, Kali, Lalruatthara, Zakeer, Kizito, Sahal, Len, Prasanth, Matej.
Pal, Pratik, Tiri, Gurung, Jairu, Memo, Mario, Calvo, Soosairaj, Morgado, Passi
Did You Know?
- Kerala are yet to win at home this season and have scored only four goals at home.
- Jamshedpur have already scored more goals(18) than last season (16).
- Kerala are yet to win against Jamshedpur
The match will be played in Kochi, at the JLN Stadium (7:30 PM). On television, the match will be live on Star Sports. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.