Talking Point: Can Jamshedpur’s new additions turn around their fortunes?

Match 73 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see Kerala Blasters FC face off against Jamshedpur FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. A win for either team will see them move up the league table. Jamshedpur are winless in their last four matches, while the Kochi-based club are clawing their way back into the competition, with an unbeaten run of four games, including two wins. Here, we discuss a few talking points before the two teams go head-to-head.

January signings can work wonders for Jamshedpur

Jamshedpur experimented with a number of attacking options to complement Nerijus Valskis in the final third but none of them proved successful. In the January transfer window, they reinforced their attack with the signings of Seiminlen Doungel and Farukh Choudhary from FC Goa and Mumbai City FC respectively. Both players have turned out for Kerala Blasters in the past. Playing against a team which has not kept a clean sheet in their last six games, Jamshedpur will expect that the duo to work in perfect harmony with Valskis and get the desired results up front.

Kerala Blasters to miss key players

Jordan Murray is likely to miss out again due to injury while Rahul KP and Jeakson Singh will certainly miss the game on account of suspension. The absence of Murray was deeply felt in their last game against FC Goa, but with no Rahul KP, who has scored three goals this season, including two in their last two games, Kerala really find themselves in hot water. And so the performance of Gary Hooper and Facundo Pereyra becomes all the more crucial for the Blasters.   

Can Kerala Blasters come out on top again?

Before the two sides met earlier this month, the Blasters had just lost to Odisha FC, and Jamshedpur had just beaten former champions Bengaluru FC. However, since those games, both sides have had contrasting fortunes: Kerala Blasters have beaten Jamshedpur for the first time in their Hero ISL history and have gone on to defeat Bengaluru FC and earn draws against SC East Bengal and FC Goa, while Jamshedpur have lost thrice and drawn once. Despite their good results recently, Kerala are one of the most-leaky defences in the league this season and that says they will have to be very careful against a reinforced Jamshedpur attacking line-up.

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