Jamshedpur FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Hero ISL experts predict the semi-final first leg
The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season will enter its business end with league phase winners Jamshedpur FC taking on Kerala Blasters FC in the first leg of the first semi-final at the PJN stadium in Margao, Goa on Friday.
Jamshedpur FC have edged meetings between the two teams this season but the tension of knockout matches can make things very interesting.
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On paper, there is very little to choose between the two teams and hence it will be very difficult to gauge which way this semi-final contest will go.
Thus, we have let the experts do the talking and have put them on the spot.
Here are the predictions of the Hero ISL experts for the first leg between Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters FC.
John Gregory's prediction: Jamshedpur FC 1-1 Kerala Blasters FC
There will be no crowd so there’s no real home advantage for either team. I expect both coaches to be cagey about how they set up the team and not be too adventurous in this first leg. I expected both defences to be on top so I will go for a score draw. 1-1.
Semi-final 1, First-leg Preview: Jamshedpur FC look to continue their dominance against Kerala Blasters FC
Paul Masefield's prediction: Jamshedpur FC 2-2 Kerala Blasters FC
It will be very tight and cagey. But I do see it being interesting. There’s goals, there’s definitely goals in this because of the attacking prowess that’s on show on both sides. Kerala Blasters FC with their fab four can cause problems. But Jamshedpur FC with Greg Stewart and Daniel Chima Chukwu can equally cause problems. Both back fours have played well this season, but I can see four goals and can see it being 2-2 after the first legs. Both sides are good enough to qualify for the final but the way you have to look at it is that Jamshedpur FC have already won the Shield. That’s the biggest thing. So would there be a little bit more from Kerala Blasters FC? I think we might just see that. But I don’t see Jamshedpur FC getting too overawed. So I’m going for 2-2.
Erik Paartalu prediction: Jamshedpur FC 2-1 Kerala Blasters FC
I expect both teams to be aggressive. If you see the matches between these two teams this season, there were a lot of 50-50s, contested balls. So I can see this being quite fiery to be honest.
I don’t think we are going to get a slow, cagey game. I think Jamshedpur FC know that they need to play the way they have been playing, which is to keep putting teams on the back foot. I think for Kerala Blasters, they won’t try to build up, they’d like to sling the ball forward to Jorge Diaz and Alvaro Vazquez. So, I think we can see a pretty end-to-end contest.
I think Jamshedpur FC will just edge it 2-1.