After being on the road for the first three games, FC Goa will finally return to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa to face Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday to kick off Matchweek 5. Two points separate these two sides as they sit in the middle of the Hero ISL table.

There has been only one draw in ten previous encounters between these two sides. FC Goa have emerged victorious on five occasions while Jamshedpur have beaten them four times. No team has defeated Jamshedpur FC more times than FC Goa.

FC Goa Head Coach Carlos Peña has implemented a 4-2-3-1 formation and stuck by it so far this season. So far, Goa’s changes to the starting line-up have been forced due to injuries. Dheeraj Moirangthem and Glan Martins missed the game against Hyderabad FC but were on the bench. Both players could make their return to the team against the Red Miners.

“They [Jamshedpur FC] have changed their coach and lost a few players, but they are still a very competitive and strong team with experienced players,” said Pena.

“Last season they won the Hero ISL Shield. In my view, winning the shield after 20 games is quite difficult. We will respect them a lot, but at our best, we can beat anyone,” he added.

This will be Jamshedpur FC’s 100th Hero ISL game. Head coach Aidy Boothroyd has deployed a traditional 4-4-2 in the last two games and may not revert to the 4-3-3 that he deployed in the first game of the season. Peter Hartley recovered from his injury and scored the only goal in the last game that helped Jamshedpur nab their first win of the season. Up front, Daniel Chukwu is one goal away from becoming the joint-highest goal-scorer for Jamshedpur FC in the Hero ISL. Nerijus Valskis and Greg Stewart currently hold the record with ten goals to their names.

The home fans are expected to show up in numbers and make a lot of noise for their first game of the season in the stands.

“They [FC Goa fans] can’t be louder than our crowd. We are probably 1-0 up in that aspect. Our supporters are fantastic,” said Boothroyd. “We will respect our opponent and both sets of fans whilst trying our best to quieten their crowd. They are a good team, and we will have to be at our best to get a good result, and that is what we intend to do,” he added.

Both sides have played three games so far this season. The Gaurs are currently fifth on the table, and a win could lift them up into second place, just a point behind leaders Hyderabad FC. The Red Miners are sixth on the table. All three points could see them leapfrog FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan and move into fourth place, three points behind Hyderabad FC.