Talking Point: ‘Familiarity’ to have big impact on Jamshedpur-Chennaiyin match-up

Jamshedpur FC will begin their Hero Indian Super League 2020-21 campaign and life under head coach Owen Coyle with a clash against Chennaiyin FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday. Coyle and the Hero ISL’s Golden Boot winner from last season Nerijus Valskis will both be going up against their former team in Chennaiyin. Tuesday’s encounter between the teams, in fact, promises to be an exciting match with plenty of intriguing subplots and individual battles. Here are a few things to look forward to from Chennaiyin and Jamshedpur’s season opener.

Will Coyle be able to help Jamshedpur end their semi-final jinx?

After finishing eighth last season, Jamshedpur missed out on a semi-final spot for the third year running. However, they will be optimistic about their chances of finishing in the top four this season with head coach Coyle at the helm. When Jamshedpur appointed Coyle as their head coach, you can rest assured that his incredible run to the final with Chennaiyin was fresh in their minds. After taking over a Chennaiyin side that were near the bottom of the standings with one win from six matches, Coyle oversaw 15 games for the Marina Machans. He won eight of those games, losing four times and drawing thrice. Only FC Goa picked up more wins than Coyle’s Chennaiyin during his time with the two-time champions. However, it remains to be seen if he can have a similar impact with Jamshedpur –- a club still eyeing their first semi-final appearance.

Face-off between exciting Indian wingers

One of the players who benefited from Coyle’s tenure with Chennaiyin was Lallianzuala Chhangte. He was the best Indian midfielder last season and scored seven times for the Marina Machans. While it will be interesting to see if he can reach the heights that he scaled last season, another winger that will have a lot of responsibility to shoulder this season is Jamshedpur’s Jackichand Singh. The India international has already spoken about how he’s looking forward to playing under Jamshedpur’s new head coach and if Coyle can get the best out of Jackichand like he did with Chhangte then the upcoming Hero ISL campaign could be the Manipur wideman’s best yet. Only Sunil Chhetri and Brandon Fernandes had more goal involvements than Jackichand’s eight – five goals and three assists – among Indian players last season and needless to say, the Jamshedpur winger will be hoping to better that tally in Hero ISL 2020-21.

Rafael Crivellaro to shoulder added responsibility in Hero ISL 2020-21

After a fine debut season with Chennaiyin, Rafael Crivellaro will be taking on the mantle of captaining the Marina Machans. With Valskis now a part of Jamshedpur, Crivellaro is arguably Chennaiyin’s most important player and will be expected to be a leader on as well as off the pitch. He scored seven goals and provided eight assists, making him the sixth highest goal contributor in the league last season. However, the upcoming season will have its own set of challenges for him, particularly in the captaincy department. That said, Crivellaro has already shown his leadership skills with Chennaiyin and wearing the skipper’s armband should serve as extra motivation for him.


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