East Bengal FC eye full points against Jamshedpur FC in red-hot playoffs tussle

East Bengal FC will look to replicate the result of the reverse fixture and clinch two back-to-back home wins for the first time this season when they take on Jamshedpur FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday. The last time these two sides met earlier this season, the Torch Bearers clinched all three points after a 3-1 victory over the Red Miners.

After ending their lean run on home soil with a win against Bengaluru FC, East Bengal FC suffered a 3-1 defeat in Odisha last week. They were ahead after just ten minutes but could not extend or hold on to that advantage till the 90th minute.

Cleiton Silva scored his eighth goal of the season last week and sits at the top of the goalscoring charts. The Brazilian forward has now scored in two consecutive games and will be aiming to extend that run against Jamshedpur FC.

Head coach Stephen Constantine could still be without first-choice goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh. However, in attack, he will receive a boost as Suhair VP will be back in the squad after serving his suspension last week.

“There are no easy games in this league. We managed to get three points in Jamshedpur, and we won our last home game too. We will try to win the first home game of the new year as well,” said Constantine. “It will be a battle, and I’m sure they [Jamshedpur FC] will come prepared for it. They are a good side, despite their position on the table. We will have to fight for the win, simple as that,” he added.

Jamshedpur FC were on their first victory in nine games last week against Chennaiyin FC before the Marina Machans scored two goals in the last half-an-hour of the game and left the Red Miners with a solitary point.

As the main strikers of the club failed to find the back of the net, winger Ritwik Das stepped up and bagged a brace in the game last week. Midfielder Rafael Crivellaro nabbed his first goal contribution as he assisted one of Das’ goals.

Head coach Aidy Boothroyd will be pleased to see midfielder Pronay Halder return to the club on a permanent transfer. Halder lifted the Hero ISL Shield with Jamshedpur FC last year during his loan stint. The Red Miners have also signed Dylan Fox, but the Australian defender will not feature against East Bengal FC.

“Dylan [Fox] has a little niggle, so he has not travelled with the squad, but he will be fit and available for the next game. Pronay is a very good player with a proven track record. Including Rafael [Crivellaro], we have had three really good additions to the team so far,” said Boothroyd.

“Our realistic goal is to finish as high as we can. We just have to focus on ourselves with our new additions and just keep plugging away until we get as high on the table as we can,” he added.

The two sides have clashed on five occasions in the Hero ISL. East Bengal FC have won twice, while Jamshedpur FC have won just once. Two games have ended in draws. (Hero ISL standings)

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