Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC lock horns in battle of struggling giants
Bengaluru FC are gearing up to take on Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. Separated by three points, both sides find themselves a fair way off the final playoff spot. The Blues are currently ninth with seven points, while the Red Miners are right below them with four points.
Bengaluru FC suffered their second successive defeat last week after a 3-2 loss against arch-rivals Kerala Blasters FC. The Blues have now managed to win just two games in nine attempts in the Hero ISL. They have also scored the joint-fewest goals this season, level with their next opponents, Jamshedpur FC, at six goals.
Midfielder Javi Hernandez got on the scoresheet again last week as he took his season’s tally to three goals. Skipper Sunil Chhetri scored from the spot and finally got off the mark this season. Meanwhile, the new signing, Pablo Perez, was only fit enough to start from the bench. The Spaniard could be in contention to start Saturday’s game. (Club statistics)
“It’s a game between two teams that are not in very good form. Jamshedpur is a fine example of ‘Football is never easy.’ They are reigning league champions, and they have found it really tough this year for many different reasons,” said head coach Simon Grayson. “Our football club has been very successful in the past and have found it difficult in the last few years. Football clubs have highs and lows, but both clubs are in the wrong position as of now,” he added.
Jamshedpur FC are hovering close to the bottom of the table, just four points above NorthEast United FC. The Red Miners have not won a game in their last six attempts. After losing 1-0 to ATK Mohun Bagan last week, Jamshedpur FC have failed to find the back of the net in two consecutive matches.
Daniel Chukwu is the club’s leading scorer this season with two goals in eight games. The goals have dried up for the Nigerian striker lately, with his last goal coming almost two months ago. In this game, Jamshedpur FC will be without their skipper Peter Hartley who was sent off in their last game. (Club statistics)
“He [Grayson] is very organised and his teams are aggressive and good in set-plays. Over the years, we have locked horns a couple of times. We come from the same area, and it is a new venture for both of us,” said head coach Aidy Boothroyd. Shedding light on the injury situation at the club, Boothroyd said, “Thankfully, it’s time to get players back, which is what we needed. Rafael [Crivellaro] has been excellent in training. Eli Sabia is also completely fit.”
Both sides have met each other ten times in the Hero ISL. Jamshedpur FC have won four of those games, and The Blues have emerged victorious on three occasions. Before the ISL season commenced, Bengaluru FC beat Jamshedpur FC in their Group A encounter of the Durand Cup. (Hero ISL standings)