Talking Point: Can Jamshedpur find new sources of goals against Mumbai City?

Mumbai City FC will be aiming to make it five consecutive wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they face Jamshedpur FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. After a defeat in their season opener, the Islanders have been on a good run of form and will be eager to maintain their momentum with a victory over Owen Coyle’s men. Jamshedpur, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last four matches and will be keen to get the better of Mumbai. Here we assess some of the factors that could decide which way the tide turns.

A game of contrasting styles

The match between Mumbai and Jamshedpur will pit two teams with contrasting styles against each other. Mumbai City FC prefer to play a possession-based game and are averaging 57% possession in their games this season, while Jamshedpur, excluding the match against SC East Bengal’s 10 men, have an average possession of 48.75%. The Islanders also have the best passing accuracy in the league (77.04%), while Jamshedpur have the worst (61.76%). Coyle’s men are likely to be under pressure for large durations of the game but will be hoping to deny Mumbai too many chances to score from. Jamshedpur have conceded 24 shots on target – most by a team in Hero ISL 2020-21.

A battle in the centre of the park

Ahmed Jahouh and Aitor Monroy are responsible to break play and help in transition for Mumbai and Jamshedpur respectively. Perhaps the best defensive midfielders in the league right now, Jahouh has attempted the most tackles (36) this season while Monroy has attempted (32) and is third on the list for tackles made. Both players like to keep the ball moving from their deep lying roles and as a result complete several passes. Jahouh has made (283) passes so far and is third amongst Mumbai players while Monroy has made the most passes (241) by a Jamshedpur player. Both of them will have a pivotal role to play come Monday and whoever does a better job could aid their side to victory.

Having multiple goal-scorers an advantage for Mumbai

If Jahouh’s battle with Monroy in midfield seems intriguing then the clash between two in-form strikers in Nerijus Valskis and Adam le Fondre is even more appetizing. Valskis has netted five out of Jamshedpur’s six goals this season, while le Fondre has scored four out of Mumbai’s eight strikes so far. However, one key difference is that Mumbai aren’t as reliant on le Fondre to score goals for them as Jamshedpur are on Valskis. If the Lithuanian striker has an off day, it’s difficult to see who gets Jamshedpur the goals. Mumbai, on the other hand, have four different goal-scorers this season and the Islanders will be safe in the knowledge that should their in-form frontman have a bad day at the office, there are others who can step up and rise to the challenge.

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