Talking Point: Will Igor Angulo outshine Nerijus Valskis again?

Jamshedpur FC will be looking to grab the opportunity of entering the top four of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super (Hero ISL) standings at the expense of FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on Thursday. Owen Coyle’s men will be looking to bounce back with a win after a loss in their previous outing, while Goa look to consolidate their position in the semi-final spots following a draw in their last match. Goa came from behind to beat Jamshedpur in their earlier clash this season and here we assess some of the factors that could have a bearing on the outcome of the contest.

Jamshedpur’s second half concerns

Coyle’s men will head into the encounter against Goa with worries over their second half displays this season. Despite having a man advantage against Kerala Blasters FC in their last match, Jamshedpur conceded twice in quick succession and eventually lost the game. Worryingly, their second half display against the Blasters wasn’t exactly a one-off. Out of the 12 goals they have scored this season, only five have come in the second half. Defensively, they’ve conceded eight out of 12 goals in the second period and needless to say, Coyle will want his players to address their displays after restarts heading into the second half of the season.

Goa’s domestic players have been impressive

The Gaurs’ Indian contingent have been delivering whenever on the pitch and their head coach Juan Ferrando will hope that they can continue to do so. Their domestic players have been involved in nine goal contributions for them this season. Their last two games saw Ishan Pandita and Devendra Murgaokar find the back of the net to help secure a win and a draw respectively. The abovementioned duo aside, Brandon Fernandes and Alexander Jesuraj have shown their ability to contribute in the final third with two and three assists respectively. Saviour Gama has also looked confident bombing forward from the fullback slot and has provided two assists so far.

Battle between quality forwards

A lot of which way the game swings hinges on how both teams’ star strikers perform on the day. Goa have the leading goal-scorer in the league in Igor Angulo, who has netted nine times so far. Jamshedpur, meanwhile, have Nerijus Valskis in their ranks and the Lithuanian will go into the clash in a confident frame of mind having netted twice in his previous match. Valskis has scored eight goals this season and will undoubtedly want to leapfrog Angulo in the race for the Golden Boot. The earlier encounter between the two side this campaign saw Angulo’s brace proving to be the difference and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if one of these two forwards is the difference-maker again.

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