Talking Tactics: Key battles to watch out for in Jamshedpur FC vs Kerala Blasters FC first-leg semi-final

The first leg of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22’s semi-final 1 will see Jamshedpur FC face off against Kerala Blasters FC at the PJN Stadium on Friday.

Both teams love to keep possession when they build up their attack, making it a match where dull moments are likely to be few and far between.

Feature: Kerala Blasters FC are a tough nut to crack but can they stop the Jamshedpur FC winning machine?

Both teams have a number of talented players who will give their everything to win the three points and take an early advantage in the two-legged match-up.

Here's a look at some of the key battles that could decide the outcome of the match between two these two sides.

Greg Stewart vs Jorge Diaz

Two strikers with lethal finishing touch take on each other in the first leg of Semi-final 1.

Greg Stewart has scored 10 goals and provided the same amount of assists this season, including two in the 3-0 win against the Blasters in February. His last goal came in their 3-2 win over Northeast United FC.

The Scottish forward will be looking to shift into top gear against Kerala Blasters FC and will look to continue their dominance against them.

His counterpart Jorge Diaz is in fine form as he scored five goals in his last six games for Kerala Blasters FC.

The Argentine netted a brace during the Tuskers’ 4-4 draw against the FC Goa. Overall, he has scored eight goals and notched one assist, and has a goal contribution in every 81.9 minutes that he has played this season.

Semi-final 1, First-leg Preview: Jamshedpur FC look to continue their dominance against Kerala Blasters FC

Ritwik Das vs Adrian Luna

This is more of a routine faceoff to watch out for whenever these two sides face each other.

Ritwik Das and Adrian Luna are the midfield engines of their respective teams. They initiate forward forays instantly and top the most passes and touches charts almost regularly.

With largely similar profiles, these two players are the heart of the game play of their respective teams. Luna has registered a passing accuracy of 69.96% to Das’s  67.33.

The Uruguayan has assisted seven goals to Das’s one but there’s very little to separate them in terms of goals. Since both teams play attacking football, their performance can go a long way towards deciding who comes out on top in the first leg.

Read: Jamshedpur FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Hero ISL experts predict the semi-final first leg

Daniel Chima Chukwu vs Ruviah Hormipam

Ruivah Hormipam has been a solid presence in defense for Kerala Blaster FC this season. The Indian defender has made 53 clearances, 9 blocks and also commands a strong passing accuracy of 84.19%.

His battle against Daniel Chima Chukwu will be crucial in determining the outcome.

The 30-year-old Nigerian striker has 8 goals to his name. Chukwu’s ability to beat the offside trap and find the net has been on display on multiple occasions this season, and Hormipam will be tasked with keeping a tight leash on the Nigerian striker.

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