Talking Point: Can Jamshedpur FC take advantage of Mumbai City’s recent defensive woes?

Match 100 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see second-placed Mumbai City FC take on seventh-placed Jamshedpur FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Saturday. The Islanders are battling for the top spot, having already secured a semi-final berth and a win will boost their confidence after their dip in form of late. Meanwhile, Jamshedpur have an outside chance of making it to the top four, and a win over Mumbai City will be welcomed by their fans before they face the in-form Bengaluru FC in their final match of the league stage. Here ahead of the encounter, we take a look at some of the talking points that could influence the outcome in a big way.

Must-win match for Jamshedpur FC

Jamshedpur succumbed to a 1-0 loss in the last match against current table-toppers ATK Mohun Bagan but fought till the end for something from the game. While their improving form might be a little too late, they still have an outside chance of making it to the top four for the first time since their entry into the league. They need to win their remaining two matches with big margins and hope that results in the other matches go their way. But a win over the Islanders on Saturday will be a step in the positive direction. With little to lose, expect Jamshedpur FC to fire on all cylinders against Sergio Lobera’s men.

Adam le Fondre or Bartholomew Ogbeche?

Adam le Fondre scored two goals in Mumbai City’s 4-2 loss against Bengaluru FC in their last match. The English forward has been their best player up front, with 11 goals so far but with just one win in their last five matches, Sergio Lobera might opt for a change in guard in their attacking third. Bartholomew Ogbeche scored the Islanders’ only goal in the reverse fixture between the two teams earlier this season, which ended in a 1-1 draw. That said, le Fondre is in fine form, having scored in four consecutive matches recently after a five-match barren spell. It will be interesting to see whether Ogbeche’s performance in the reverse fixture does change Lobera’s mind. 

Jamshedpur’s attack need to show up against Mumbai City’s leaky defence

Playing against Mumbai City’s leaky defence (a recent shortcoming), scoring goals will be Jamshedpur’s top priority. They have scored only three goals in their last six matches and this will worry Owen Coyle heading into their final two matches. Their highest goal-scorer this season, Nerijus Valskis missed their 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC due to injury. In his absence, David Grande scored the winning goal. Coyle stuck with the Spaniard in their next game against ATK Mohun Bagan but Grande wasn’t on target even once. The head coach will also expect better returns from January recruits Seiminlen Doungel and Farukh Choudhary, who are yet to find the back of the net.


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